Suicide is an incredibly delicate subject, one that most adults do not want to approach let alone teach children or teenagers about it. But suicide happens, it is an incredibly sad fact, but some people feel so alone and desperate that they take their own lives. And, it is never more tragic than when a young person takes their own life, possibly because if they had someone to talk to it could have been prevented and they might still be alive. Suicide prevention is essential in schools, it lets those that are contemplating taking their own lives know that they are not alone and that there is hope.
Being bullied can make young people feel suicidal, they feel that suicide is the only thing that will make the pain go away and it is the only way they will escape the hardship that is their life, it does not just have to be bullying in school either, bullying or abuse at home can lead people to suicide. Setting up an anti bullying group or sessions where those that are being bullied or abused can come and talk to someone without fear of judgement can help show them that they do have people they can turn to.
Telling people the early warning signs of suicide could save a life, they may notice it in one of their friends and if they tell someone that can help, then a tragedy could be avoided. The early warning signs of suicide are
Giving away treasured possessions
Talking about killing themselves
An obsession with death
A sudden change in behaviour and appearance
Many people still seem to think that people that talk about killing themselves do not do it, but this is not true, they may be telling people because they are going to do it and they want someone to talk them out of it, but people do talk about it and they do try to do it. Young people need to know these warning signs so they can look out for them. Let them know why people commit suicide, teach them the importance of mental health and discourage all discrimination about mental illness.
Celebrating diversity in all its forms can help those that feel as though they do not fit in to feel more accepted. Feeling as though you do not belong or you are different can be incredibly isolating, particularly if you are being bullied for this. Operate a zero tolerance policy towards bullying and deal with bullies properly.
Suicide prevention will not only help kids understand the complexities of mental health, it could also help make them more tolerant, understanding people with a greater knowledge of why people feel so alone sometimes.