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

Posts Tagged ‘Disorders

Knowledge Really is Power

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Did you know that, according to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), roughly 8 out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in 2000?(that was 11 years ago, for those keeping count.  I’m sure that number has risen.)  Did you know that for every ONE teen suicide, there were 10 other attempts!?  Again, 2000 statistics.  Did you know that 8 out of 10 teens who commit suicide try to ask for help, in their own way, before committing suicide?

In every one of my blog entries, I provide links.  In some cases, they’re links to articles about a bullycide or something else that’s pertinent to whatever I’m writing about at the time.  In most cases, however, the links will take the reader to some useful information.  If you haven’t been clicking the links, I highly recommend to every reader to click this one.  There is a plethora of valuable information contained therein.  And, knowledge really is power.

It is imperative that, in combating this epidemic, everyone has as much knowledge of the situation as humanly possible.  I don’t think there can be too much information as far as this is concerned.  Do you?  For instance, do you know what depression looks like if you have or are in contact with a teenager?  You’ll learn it here.  The more we know, the better our chances are of diffusing volatile situations before they spin out of control.  And, most importantly, the better chance we have of saving some lives.  That’s what it’s all about.

Written by Ron Kemp

December 16, 2011 at 3:15 am

Handling a Crisis IN THE MOMENT!!

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For the second time in less than a week, I was confronted last night with a distraught youth who was intent on ending his life.  Again, I was IN THE MOMENT with someone who was ready to give it all back.  And, to be sure, I really have no way of knowing right at this moment whether either of them actually took action and/or whether they were successful.  I know that in the first instance, we were able to quickly assemble a small army for him and were able to throw him a life raft.  Let’s continue the hope that he makes it back to shore.  I was deeply troubled by last night’s case.  This one sounded touch-and-go, even to the point where he couldn’t have cared less about those of us who had reaching out to him.  Worse, he asked us all to stop trying to help him.  Then, he was gone from the screen.  Logged off.  And, again,  we were left to wonder.  Wait and wonder.  At least with this guy, we have a general location as to where he is.  That may prove to be valuable information.

It makes me wonder why there aren’t more resources available, a “suicide prevention first-aid kit” of sorts, readily available for us in the event we’re caught right there in the moment.  Knowing without a doubt exactly what to do at that very crucial moment is an absolute necessity if we’re to save these youngsters.  I want to stress here, again, that I am by no means a professional therapist, psychologist, or even social worker.  I’m merely a very concerned citizen, an older gay man who have been through what a lot of these kids are going through.  The difference, obviously, is that I made it to the other side.  It wasn’t always easy.  What has worked well for me so far (this week’s two incidents notwithstanding) first and foremost is simply talking sincerely with these young people whenever possible.  Not to give advice, mind you.  I’m not qualified to do that.  Rather, I’ve always known that LISTENING really goes a very long way.  I personally have witnessed the positive effects of that during this crisis.  Make no mistake:  listening, however important, is NOT the only thing needed (in most cases) to save these people’s lives.  As non-professionals, once we get the life jackets on them (listening), we need to get professionally trained people involved absolutely as soon as possible.  Depending on the severity of the situation, the authorities may need to be called in as well.  The upside of doing this on the Internet is we can get instantaneous news from around the entire globe.  That’s crucial.  I’m thousands of miles away from Hungary, yet I’ve been able to help bring a beautiful young Hungarian soul back from the edge.  The downside is that they ARE spread out all around the globe.  Sometimes, making the right connections can be difficult but very worth it.  The payoff is another young life saved from self-destruction.

Here are some helpful links and resources for both you and the at-risk person you may be in touch with.  (primarily for the at-risk person)           (primarily for the at-risk person)  (very valuable for everyone to have this link)

That’s a good start.  And, of course, I will be updating as I come across more resources.  We really need every single one of you to get involved in this mission to save lives.  You don’t have to be a professional to get involved.  The only requirement is compassion.  As said by another committed soldier in this battle:  “Yes, I have no training or degree in psychology…But I don’t need a degree to tell when someone is ‘Depressed’… I don’t really know whether or not they are or should be ‘Clinically Diagnosed’ as ‘Clinically Depressed’… All I know is, as far as I am concerned… they are ‘DEPRESSED’… i.e. constantly unhappy and in a state of emotional pain… And I really don’t like it when ‘administrators’ or ‘councilors’ in schools or where ever.. tell me I’m not trained enough to detect depression, any sensitive human being can detect depression… I don’t claim either to have the training to help any one with depression, but…[I] have the heart and love to give the moral support and a caring ear to those who need to have another caring human being just listen to them or talk to them… ‘no training needed, apply from within'”  Well said, Michele.


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I spend a lot of time perusing through information to share with you in this blog.  Tonight, I was watching a video of an actual suicide note that was written by a young boy just before he killed himself.  Heart wrenching doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling I got.  And, the feeling YOU would get if you were to read the same note.

Then, I started reading the comments.  This one jumped off the screen at me:  “I’m 19 and I’m going to end my pain…Well my b day is december 15th…I’m 18…If only you guys knew my life…And the pain I’m going through”  You read that right.  And, THIS WAS WRITTEN JUST A FEW HOURS AGO!  So, I’m calling on every single person reading this to help save this young man’s life.  I’ve only been able to connect through his youtube page,, but I sent him a message pleading for him to seek help.   I sent him a link for befrienders.  Lots and lots of kind words and genuine concern might just save a life!!!!  Let’s give it a try.  Like, right now!!!  A life is depending on it.

Know the Signs

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I awakened this morning to the following post on facebook:  “I want to die”.  Needless to say, every alarm in my head went off .  I checked my text messages, and the same person had texted me:  “Well, things are worst than ever.  suicide seems like the best way to go now”.   Let me first say that he’s alive and well.  Secondly, this is a young man I’ve known a few years.  And, it’s been a struggle for him the entire time I’ve known him.  He doesn’t want to die.  He wants the pain, suffering, and struggling to go away.  Sound familiar?  I do know that he suffers from depression, so I contacted him right away.  Depression, however, is just one of the warning signs to look for.  Can you name 4 more?  Most people can’t.  In order to bring this sad chapter in our history to an end, we need to educate and re-educate ourselves. LEARN THE WARNING SIGNS!!!! (lives depend on it)

Give Them Hope; Give Them Life

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Since getting involved in this mission to help save some young lives, I’ve come to recognize a very clear and discernible constant:  a pervasive sense of hopelessness.  And, in many-to-most cases, I could understand where their sense of hopelessness comes from.  In addition to the normal angst and anxiety that comes with being a teenager, and with the added weight of dealing with their sexuality internally and externally, they are bombarded with negativity as it pertains directly to them.  In many, but certainly not all, cases, they are made to feel less than whole, “defective”, unwanted, unloved, and add your own adjective.  There’s, unfortunately, too many to add them all here.  So, in my ongoing, and never ending, effort to help bring this culture of intolerance to an end, I want to pass along this information.  Someone’s life will be saved by your efforts.


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This is a link to a wonderful page giving many different types of resources.


  • National Suicide Prevention Organizations
  • National Support Groups
  • Depression Resources
  • Youth Suicide Prevention Resources
  • Resources for Finding Facts and Figures
  • Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Questioning Resources (GLBTQ)
  • Pennsylvania Resources
  • Survivor of Suicide Resources


Feeling Blue Suicide Prevention Council is a community-based organization dedicated to preventing suicide, reducing the stigma associated with suicide, and supporting those people affected by depression or by the loss of a loved one to suicide. We do this through education and support.


A couple more links have been added, so I wanted to post them here:



This is a link for a downloadable PDF done by C.O.M.H. (Consortium for Organizations Mental Healthcare)



A practical guide (download )for people who have lost someone to suicide in Ontario (adapted from Alberta but updated for Ontario)




Thanks, Barb (again!), for posting this

What Is Depression?

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Now, if you ask the average person what depression is, they’d probably have a very pedestrian response, like “when your boyfriend breaks up with you.” To be sure, that can be quite depressing. However, it isn’t depression. Clinical depression is an illness, and it’s an illness that is at the root of the overwhelming majority of teen suicides, be they gay or straight. This article, posted by my good friend Maureen, will certainly explain better than I can.  Depression