Bradley Chisholm, 16, Death by Suicide
Last week was brutal. The world said goodbye to three more young people at the hands of suicide. And, that’s three that I know of. Of the three, two were reportedly because of, at least in part, bullying. Sixteen year old Bradley Chisholm was one of the two.
Brad was a beautiful young man who had been bullied for most of his high school years. I am not sure of all the details, but I know that one of the things he was bullied for was his weight. He was bigger than most kids, but so was his personality. He seemed happy in the lead up to this but was obviously really hurting inside. His mates have been talking about some kid from the area. Not sure if he was the one bullying Brad before his passing, but it sure sounds that way.
And, again the question arises: how do we tackle the issue of bullying? How many more young lives will it take before it’s taken for exactly what it is: an escalating epidemic that’s costly lives and causing unnecessary grief for those left behind. I’ve said before, but it bears repeating over and over until the point is clearly made: if this were a virus killing kids at this rate, there would be an all-out assault on eradicating the disease. If this were blatant violence, such as gun violence or stabbings, measures would be taken immediately to make it end. And, of course, rightly so. So, why is, then, that the senseless bully-related suicides are continuing to mount up. Worse, why is it that all-too-often, the response seems to be read from the same, generic cue card: “Our investigation hasn’t shown bullying to be an issue…”? Sweeping the issue under the proverbial carpet is not, and will not, make it go away.
One of the issues in dealing with bullying, and the suicides that come from it, is that far too many victims of bullying opt for keeping it to themselves…keeping it in…until they end up taking irreversible, permanent action. Perhaps that’s a good starting point: teaching, and instilling!, in young people who they HAVE to speak up; they HAVE to speak out; they HAVE to make sure their voices are being heard by people who will do something about it. However, there’s a reason why so many prefer not talking about it as opposed to telling someone: they’ve learned that little-to-nothing is done about it when they do tell someone. It’s an issue that’s widely swept under the carpet, or minimized, to the point where they conclude that there’s no one who will help them…that their on their own. That becomes too much for them to handle. Then, sadly, we lose yet another one to a death that could’ve very easily been prevented.
On the facebook blog page, where people often tell their stories, one of the members just posted this:
I just want others to know that if you’re being bullied, please, don’t keep it to yourself. Find someone you trust and love, someone who can help, and tell them! Nobody can help if they don’t know. You may run into some stone walls when trying to find help, but don’t let that discourage you. Stay strong…
That is an absolute. Instilling in these young people that there really IS someone “out there” who will listen, and do their best to intervene, it essential. Getting them to keep talking until they find that person is imperative. Being that person who will be there to listen and do whatever it takes to end the bullying they’re dealing with is crucial to lowering the suicide rate. It’s just that simple.
To the family and friends of young Bradley Chisholm, we send our deepest, heartfelt sympathies. May you rest in peace now, Bradley.
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