Open Road Press

Suicide Sightings

In the past week, I have spoken to two teachers about suicide. One was working this summer at a campsite we stayed at in Chamberlain, South Dakota. The other was cycling with me for a stretch after we left Chamberlain. Both of them taught on Indian reservations. There are several throughout South Dakota.

When I mentioned our fundraiser for TheHopeLine and our desire to help prevent suicide in teens and young adults, they both concurred that suicide is a huge problem on the reservations. Both women indicated that the suicide rate surpasses the projected suicide numbers year after year on the reservation. This is a very disturbing trend, and who is doing anything to help?

Even though both women left their teaching jobs on the reservations, they were still reporting the sad reality of life on the reservation. It seems like there is a world of difference between life on and off the reservation. But suicide is suicide. And now, with the news of Robin Williams’ suicide, there is no escaping the topic in the news.

THL-Logo-Square-clear_bgTheHopeLine focuses its efforts on ages 13-29. When I was talking to two women we met at a local motel, one of them mentioned a 12-year-old in Iowa had hung himself at his home recently.

I know suicide is a depressing topic to talk about. No one wants to bring it up. That’s part of the problem. We are trained on TheHopeLine to address the topic head-on, and not to avoid it. Many in despair need to tell someone what they are considering before it is too late. Bringing the issue out into the open increases the odds of a successful outcome.

I keep on thinking about Robin Williams. At 63 years of age, you would think he would have better coping mechanisms than a 12-year-old has…but suicide can happen to anyone at any age. We’re all susceptible to losing hope. That is why we want to bring awareness to this grave issue, and to TheHopeLine’s efforts to curb it, in order to help prevent more suicides.

If these recent suicide sightings disturb you, won’t you consider doing something to help prevent more of them? In the year 2013 alone, TheHopeLine intervened in the lives of over 3,000 young people who were struggling with suicidal thoughts. If you’ve not already made your pledge to TheHopeLine, please do it now. Your tax-deductible contribution will make a difference in the lives of hurting teens and young adults. You can pledge your support by clicking this link. If you have already pledged support, thank you and please share this post with others who you think might share your concern.

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