A couple of days ago I shared a post abt the unfortunate trends we’re seeing related to MH, given how the realities of the Covid world are impacting our daily lives.
That day, I received the awful news of a suicide of a student in an affluent neighborhood in NJ, followed by a text from a close fam member who’s still in grade school that yet another student on LI had just been lost to suicide. Both pieces of news, unfortunately: anecdotal evidence as to what’s been reported.
When my fam member texted me abt the passing in LI, I wrote back (& I want to quote here): “Promise me if you ever have self harm feelings, you’ll reach out to me, or someone you trust, to let them know.” Here was the response I got that prompted today’s post: “I will…but don’t worry, I’m a happy person, I like my life a lot.” This scared the crap out of me. This is the understanding our kids have abt suicide??
Some more bkgrnd: this affluent district in NJ is known for their strong academics. Getting kids into great schools. The lack of in-person schooling has greatly upset the parents. All the noise has been abt how the new format will hurt the education they pay such high taxes for. This school does not have a formal SEL program.
Similarly, my fam member’s district is in LI. NY is a state that MANDATES MH education…& yet still, look at what our kids understanding is. #SameHere Schools is fortunate enough to work IN districts, wkly, w a number of schools all over LI. My fam member’s school is not one of them. If the belief is that suicide & ideations comes abt only when someone is – sad & not liking their life – I’m scared. And once again this is in NY where MH education is required.
We created the LIFE Saver tool to help any school, for free, w a “Stop, Drop, & Roll,” type of video & poster for suicide prevention, so that ANY of them can access what’s needed to have this convo abt how these thoughts can happen to anyone, “happy & enjoying their life” or not.
Here’s what also pains me: if out govt (all levels) won’t provide FUNDS for MH, at least require consistent baseline MH/suicide prevention eduction. Many lives depend on it!