Co-Authored by Keira Olvey and Rick Shaw of Awareity
Adolescence can be a terrifying time for children.
Harassment, assault, bullying, cyber bullying, weapon threats, stabbings, shootings, bombings, gangs, child abuse, human trafficking, drugs, alcohol and more – have all become potential risks that children face in their community and their school. These terrifying risks can cause children to:
- Experience anxiety and depression,
- Fear for one’s safety at school or to and from school,
- Lose focus on school work,
- Withdraw from friends and family,
- Blame themselves and others for troubles,
- Lose self-esteem and self-respect,
- Withdraw from school and social activities once enjoyed,
- Retaliate with force, violence and/or endanger others,
- And worst of all…feel they have no other option but to commit SUICIDE.
In 2012 alone, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported nearly 4,600 youth committed suicide. That’s over 12 kids a day who felt they were better off DEAD than living one more day with these stresses and terrifying risks. And for every life that was lost, the CDC said another 100-200 children attempted to kill themselves. These children felt ignored, unloved, like a failure, a disappointment, forgotten and disconnected. Research reveals that suicide victims told one or more people about their struggles and tried to find help but:
- Parents are not sure where to turn for support or guidance
- Students are scared to come forward without confidential/anonymous ways to share what they know and have witnessed
- Staff and faculty are not equipped to confidentially/anonymously report what they see and hear throughout the school day
- Administrators lose track of incident reports that come in and have trouble keeping track of what actions have been taken
- Administrators don’t know what teachers, students, counselors, SROs, parents and community members know
And when the right people cannot see all the facts at once, cannot see what at-risk children are suffering through, cannot recognize patterns and escalations…then the right people cannot proactively prevent incidents and tragedies and cannot provide the help at-risk children so desperately need. Instead of receiving the support they require, their anguish, their perceptions and their ideations get to the point where these children do not believe others care and they feel like ending their life is the best option.
Aren’t children’s lives worth saving?
We believe there are better options and proven solutions that are saving children’s lives and preventing suicides and numerous other preventable tragedies. Please check out: www.TIPSprevent.com