Wholesome Dwelling: Saving Our Teenagers, Silent Indicators Of Suicide
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year we may all need a little mental health help. For most of us, vaccination and relaxation of restrictions will be enough to lift ours Spirits. Others are fighting a deeper demon, especially our young people. Although the numbers for the past year are not yet known, suicide is the second leading cause of death in people between 10 and 34. Experts believe that suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, and consummation among adolescents are on the rise.
Even before schools closed, almost 20% of students were considering killing themselves. There are silent signs, signs that you might think are just normal teenage behavior. These may actually be signs that your teen is in trouble.
“My 8-year-old daughter came downstairs and said Hayden hanged herself,” Brad Hunstable, Hayden’s father, told Ivanhoe.
Hayden Hunstable was just four days before his 13th birthday when he committed suicide. His father posted a YouTube video warning other parents of the effects social isolation could have on his son.
Natalie Gillett hid her depression in high school and was in college when she first had suicidal thoughts. “She didn’t go to class. She stayed in the dark, ”said Marie Dudek Brown, Natalie’s mother. Marie Dudek has lost her daughter.
Now both parents lose the stigma and talk about suicide. Half of all mental illnesses manifest themselves by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 24.
It is important to look for warning signs early on. Intense anger or anger, irritability, hopelessness, withdrawal, loss of friendships, and loss of interest in things they love.
Experts say to speak objectively about suicide and allow your child to express their feelings. Don’t be judgmental and be available to them.
Hayden’s father is working on getting the message across using pressure-sensitive adhesives.
“I hope no one has to see what I saw … feel this pain,” said Hunstable.
Two parents share their story and hope to save their child.
If you are in a crisis or know someone contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or send TALK at 741-741.
You can see Hayden’s story on a new PSA called Almost Thirteen. You can find it on haydenscorner.org.