More important than giant chickens, more susceptible to compassionate solutions than North Korea, and more worthy of our consideration than Debbie Wasserman Schultz because anything is, the teen suicide problem generated excelled responses to a post about it here, and was, as topics are so often, quickly buried by other controversies and events.
Lets’ discuss this a bit longer, shall we? It’s worth it. A good way is to recall one of the best comments the post about the Netflix series dramatizing a fictional teen’s suicide and its effect on her friends. Here is Rip’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Quiz: “13 Reasons Why”:
OK— this issue is one I have spent years delving into. I spent the better part of a decade doing volunteer work; developing interviewing techniques at Georgetown hospital with student actors to help train pediatric medical students on how to find youth that are engaging in or thinking about behaviors that put themselves at risk.Doctors Abrams and Hawkins have done amazing work on developing tools to reach at risk adolescents
I hope to return to this at some point, but my volunteer work is currently on hold. Here is what I know.
75% of teen deaths, including suicides, in this country are avoidable if there is intervention in time. Suicide is the second leading cause of youth death, and LGBT youth are 4 to 6 times more likely to commit the act. Thank god for the Trevor Project and It Gets Better campaigns: they help. In the 90s when I tried to create suicide prevention programs through theater, I was told by administrators that we could not do this, as it might give the kids “ideas.”
Ugh. The statistics show they already have the ideas. Continue reading