Youth are dying.

528 youth across Canada between the ages of 10 and 24 committed suicide in 2011.

That’s well over half of the population of my entire high school the year I graduated.
That’s 21 classrooms of students.
That’s 48 soccer teams.

Does it scare you to know that children as young as ten are committing suicide?
It scares me a lot.

Do you know the leading “causes” of suicide?

*Depression caused by chemical imbalance in the brain
*Depression caused by side effects of medication
*Depression caused by bullying
*Gay/Lesbian teens are at risk if they suffer bullying, or come from overtly judgmental families/communities.
*Some Aboriginal teens are at risk depending on the situation in their community
*Depression or guilt caused by the suicide of a friend or family member

Do you know the signs of a suicidal person?

*Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
*Seeking access to the means to kill themselves (firearms, pills, etc)
*Actually saying “I’m going to kill myself”, “I want to end it all”, “I wish I were dead”
*Less direct verbal indicators – “No one will miss me” “The world is better off without me” “Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about me”
*Dramatic mood swings
*Giving away possessions
*Reckless, life endangering behaviours

Do you know what to do if someone you love is showing these signs?

*Call a community mental health center. In Canada the Canadian Mental Health Association has a branch in every major city, and some smaller cities as well. They have a webpage and even a facebook page.
*If they are a minor or are living at home, call the parents or primary care provider
*Tell a school nurse of guidance counselor
*Tell a pastoral counselor
*Tell another qualified professional – a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a nurse, or a doctor
*Tell any professional adult such as a teacher, police officer, or fire fighter – while they may not be able to help directly they know who to call
*Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
*Call Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

We have the chance to save 528 lives every year by being aware of our youth, by caring about them, and by raising awareness. No, we have the chance to save 1056 lives every year in North America, and more world wide.

I will be raising money for Kids Help Phone. If you would like more information on that fundraising initiative see my previous posting.

Help me raise awareness. Help me save the lives of countless youth around the world. Let’s raise awareness about suicide. Let’s keep the conversation going.

Please share this blog on social media. Please reblog this post. Please, get this information out there. Make it visible. We can’t help if we don’t understand the problem. We can’t help if we don’t know how to help.

This is for our youth. Our children.

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