Let's work together against bullying and help bring the teen suicide rate down to zero

12-Year-Old Clifford Rodriques Dead by Suicide in New Bedford

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This in my third article in just over 17 hours, and all three were dealing with another preventable loss of a young life.  On Monday, January 31st, Clifford Rodriques died by suicide.  It remains a mystery as to the why of this case.  Police investigation is ongoing.

I don’t think I need to state anymore the state of emergency that we are in.  Talking about it isn’t changing anything.  Well, it is.  It’s making us more and more angry.  And, that’s not a bad thing at all.  Perhaps, we can begin turning the anger into positive action.  No longer can we wait for somebody else to initiate the change.  Each and every one of us has to do our part, to the best of our ability, to prevent this from continuing.  Sometimes, simple steps go a long way:

  • know the warning signs.  I can’t emphasize enough how important that is.
  • Talk to your son, daughter, sister, brother, or friend, if they appear to be in distress.  More importantly, listen carefully to what they’re saying.
  • Don’t hesitate to get the proper authorities involved.
  • Have resources readily available if you know of someone who’s voicing suicidal ideation.
  • Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook isn’t just about the LGBT community.  They’re touching, and saving many lives.  They have a wonderful section on suicide support on their website.  Use it.
  • Keep this link handy: Befrienders Worldwide.
  • And, definitely have this number readily available:  1-800-273-TALK (8255)  That is the number for the national suicide prevent lifeline.  They have a website as well as a facebook page.

Being highly involved, sadly, won’t save Clifford Rodriques’ life.  However, being highly involved will go a long way towards ending this maddening cycle of teen suicides.  I hope I’m able to see it within my own lifetime.


Written by Ron Kemp

February 3, 2012 at 2:26 am

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