July 26, Day 24 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
On a day in which we crossed the Continental Divide, we were reminded of a sober topic on either side of it. It seems you find it wherever you go…youth suicide is a very serious and prevalent issue these days.
When we shared information about TheHopeLine with a retired social worker in Anaconda, Montana, last night, he affirmed our work. “You’re in the right place.” he said. “Suicide is a real problem with the youth around here.”
Later today, our hosts at a bed and breakfast did the same. “There were five suicides this past school year in the Butte (Montana) school system,” they said.
Let’s face it. Just about all of us know someone who has been affected by youth suicide. It seems epidemic in our society. What once was considered an extreme measure contemplated by a very few has now become commonplace. When today’s youth struggle with life, suicide is an option that comes to mind more often than it did in the past.
The problem with suicide is that it’s irreversible. Sure, it will solve your issues, but it will also kill you. Gone are the unfulfilled dreams and desires. That person who you were going to marry will never meet you and fall in love with you. That child who you were going to raise will never come into being. Your potential impact on the world will be lost forever. I discovered this sign after writing the first draft of this post. I’m not sure whether the architect was addressing abortion or suicide, but it seemed appropriate to share it.
Suicide is no longer an issue we can turn away from. It’s all around us. What is the cost to our society of this plague? While some up-and-coming countries in this world have vast human resources that help them advance as a culture, many of our young minds, it seems, are being laid to waste. The roadside signs when entering Montana’s communities raise awareness to the scourge of meth abuse. When it feels like any reason to continue living is gone, where do those at risk turn?
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Yet, there is always hope. That’s what we emphasize as volunteer hope coaches on TheHopeLine. There is always hope. We’ve found that people contemplating suicide have lost all hope. Their thinking is clouded. They need people to come alongside of them to help them see a better way, to provide them with clear thinking.
In 2013 alone, TheHopeLine intervened in the lives of over 3,000 young people struggling with suicidal thoughts. Debbie and I encourage you to consider pledging support to TheHopeLine, if you have not already done so. Do it in the name of that person you know who has ended their life, or on behalf of that person who is seriously considering doing so.
Your contribution to TheHopeLine can help make a difference in the lives of young people who are struggling with this issue and can’t seem to find their way through their problems. You can pledge online at this webpage.