Posts tagged suicide
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people. GLBTQ teens have a suicide rate that is up to 3-4 times higher than this already sky-high rate. There “It Gets Better” campaign seeks to help young people know that there is life after bullying and reasons to survive.
This video, created by a couple of kids out of Quinnipiac University, is part of a junior capstone project about suicide prevention.
The video has had a real effect on people dealing with depression or even having suicidal thoughts,” Lauren Taylor said, “I got an email from one girl saying thank you for helping me realize that there is something to look forward to tomorrow.”
My heart is heavy after reading this story about Ashlynn Conner, a 10-year old child who hung herself. According to her parents, Ashlynn was relentlessly bullied in school.
I always wonder about the bully and what motivates someone to be relentlessly cruel. I ache for kids like Ashlynn who are hopeless, and see no light at the end of the tunnel. And I think about all of the other kids in her world who knew about the aggression she was facing.
Even having written a book on the subject, I don’t pretend to have any simple answers about how to stop bullying. It’s a complicated problem and intervention has to occur on multiple levels. That’s jargon for: we’ve got a LOT of work to do! What I do know, though, is that fostering compassion is one of the most important missing links when it comes to creating a climate in which bullying becomes unacceptable.
In this recent HuffingtonPost article, I wrote about 7 ways that parents and nurturing adults can help kids become more compassionate. I think it’s a mistake to assume that kids are either compassionate or they’re not. Big hearts can be nurtured and compassionate kids hold a critically important key in creating cultures where bullying is not tolerated.
Whenever I talk with groups of kids about bullying, I share this mantra: It is never OK to do nothing about bullying. I have kids repeat the phrase. I encourage them to shout it. Sometimes, we see if the whole building can hear us! I want kids to remember this truism.
Today, after reading Ashlynn’s story, another set of words–this time from Albert Einstein–are echoing in my head:
“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”