At some point during the second year of grief and advocacy I became aware that tiny children were killing themselves. I wonder how many children think of suicide at such a young age? Where do they get the idea? Does someone tell them how? One little child dies of suicide every 5 days as of this writing, and I can't help but think that the media is complicit in their persistence in reporting method. The media recommendations for reporting on suicide have been available online, for free, for at least a decade.
Back then I didn't understand that people fear the "s" word so much that they are afraid to take any kind of class, training, or action to learn about prevention. I don't know why I didn't know, because it was true for me. I knew my daughter had struggled with suicidal thinking, but I never took a psychology class. I knew that there were college classes on the topic, but I was unaware that there were classes on suicide prevention for the general public. Why didn't I look?
Now, as I write this six years later, I know that the fear of suicide is stronger than anything I can write. I hope that someday Mental Health First Aid will be taught to all school children, and that mindfulness and kindness will be taught as well. I hope.
24 May 2012
There is no age limit, no race barrier, no economic indicators. We have to prepare to prevent. 7-year-old Found Dead In Suspected Suicide