Voices Carry — Teen Suicide and Bullying

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I think each parent should hug their child today, tomorrow, and each and every day. Today, I got word that my friend’s grandson, age 13, committed suicide. Bullying does not just take place in school or at any physical place. Unfortunately, there is what is known as cyber bullying. Although this happens with just the computer monitor, it is as cruel as any other type of bullying. Some may say that this is not even serious, but cyber bullying can damage a person emotionally and mentally for a long time.

So today I feel I have to repost this piece that I wrote in March of 2011 when I did a series of articles on suicide and bullying.

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March 2011-Voices Carry- by Linda Seccaspina

A few weeks ago a California high school student visiting the Golden Gate Bridge on a field trip climbed over the railing, jumped and somehow survived the 220-foot plunge into the San Francisco Bay.Most jumpers die with massive internal injuries, broken bones and fractured skulls. Some drown, but this 17-year-old lived, and he suffered no severe injuries except for bruising.  Some suggested it was a dare by fellow classmates, but was it? Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers today. There is way too much peer pressure, feelings that parents don’t understand, and it all adds up to not being able to control things in life.

download (59)In the space of a few weeks in 2011 six young men took their own lives in Perth, Ontario. A few weeks ago a young woman of 16 hung herself after having an argument with her parents. No one could figure out why the young men had killed themselves, but in the case of the young woman it was over her sexuality and being bullied.The townspeople did not know how to respond to these deaths and could not understand, but I did. These teens got to the point of feeling like they had an invisible prison wall around them and were just trying to find some sort of inner peace.

The thing is that the young bullies do not change. They become adults who become bigger threats to mankind because they got away with it in childhood. They quickly learn that they can destroy someone to feel better about themselves. So how many more suicides do we have to hear about to do something about this?

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I asked my friend Carolyn who teaches grade 12 in one of our local schools to comment on this subject as she has seen all of this first hand. Here are her thoughts:

“Linda asked me to write a piece on teen suicide and bullying, and at first I wasn’t sure if I would or even could write anything worth reading. After some time, many revisions, and cheer leading from Linda, I have finally written something for her. I now have a new admiration for bloggers, and of course, Linda.

So here goes… I am a teacher, and have seen these things firsthand. I have also had the heartbreaking experience of dealing with teen suicide as a teacher. The local community where I found myself was facing this issue; something very difficult for teenagers, and essentially children, to understand. Students were affected in different ways of course, but everyone was affected – period. My heart went out to the students I saw praying in the Chapel or crying in the halls, or the silent students who missed a few days of class. No excuse was given for their absences, but there didn’t need to be.

I was their teacher. I wanted to give them answers, but I couldn’t. All I could do was continue our comforting or reassuring routine and keep the classroom door open; and that is what I did. After time, these young adults dealt with their pain (and still do) and came together – as a class, student body, and community. It was brave, and inspiring; something to acknowledge from such a young population. As a teacher, I was proud of their courage and strength. Some students chose to talk about it, others chose to write, which I had the privilege of reading. The bottom line is to know that these issues should be discussed and addressed in an open fashion. As a teacher, this discussion, along with others that may be “uncomfortable”, are welcome in my classroom, as students need to have one place to vent, learn, share, and feel they belong”.

Thank you Linda for your inspiration and compassion, along with the possibility of creating this piece.–Carolyn

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Suicide prevention– THERE IS HELP OUT THERE-trust me

Groups that provide support to youth:

ONTARIO ONLINE & TEXT CRISIS SERVICE

Child, Youth and Family Crisis Line for Eastern Ontario (1-877-377-7775)

Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868)

Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa (613-260-2360)

Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth (613-264-1415)

 

TOURING YOUTH PLAY: Addresses Suicide in Rural Towns

Burning Passions Theatre
Burning Passions Theatre

Burning Passions Theatre added an event.

LISTEN UP, LANARK COUNTY! PRESENTS “JESSIE’S SONG”

April 22, 2016, 7:00pm – April 22, 2016, 8:30pm

YAK Youth Services

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

4 responses »

  1. such value in articles such as yours LInda…everyone needs to be aware, and it’s a conversation parents should be having with their kids. Not only to see if they are being bullied BUT are they bullying!!!! I have lost 3 people close to me from suicide, 2 friend/co-workers and my beautiful and gifted niece. Thank you for sharing your feelings, hurts and observations…don’t stop!

    Like

    • Joanne… I have one other that I will post some time.. it was a personal story.. if that does not make you think nothing will.
      It was featured on may suicide sites,.. My main writing job once upon time was not about CP but about a lot of things that mattered..And suicide, strokes cancer and bullying are huge for me.

      Like

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