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

Posts Tagged ‘national suicide prevention lifeline

Drew Ferraro’s Family Fights Back Against Bullying

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With the grief still raw from his suicide, the family of Drew Ferraro has decided to join the fight to end bullying.  At a memorial service held for their gone-too-soon son, they handed out business cards with Drew’s image on one side, and the numbers for suicide prevention as well as the email address for a couple of websites to stop bullying.  None of this will help bring back Drew, of course, but their aim is to do everything they can to assure that no family ever has to go through the devastation that they’re experiencing.

This is what it’s going to take.  It’s going to take more families getting involved and demanding change.  No child, ever, should be bullied…period.  As an extension, however, no child certainly should ever have to feel like the only way to get away from the bullying is to end his or her life.  That’s why I write these articles.  That’s why so many people are getting involved with such a critically essential struggle:  this has to end now!

We are already painfully aware that the officials, be it school officials, law enforcement, or even some politicians, are more than willing to turn a blind eye to the problem.  Indeed, the statement from the La Cresenta law enforcement was that “their investigation” showed no evidence of bullying.  In fact, he defiantly added “I know there has been a lot of speculation about bullying — it had nothing to do with that.”  Apparently, their investigation was in the wrong places.  It was reported here from the beginning that Drew Ferraro ended his life because of bullying.  Now certainly isn’t the time or place for “I told you so”, and that’s not my intent; however, if friends and family say that it was caused by bullying, it just doesn’t matter what the school officials or law enforcers say.  They’re simply trying to cover their own asses.  Those closest to the victims, those left to pick up the pieces, will certainly know better than the “officials” what happened to their loved one.

It’s up to us, the concerned citizens of the world community, to make the changes that are necessary to bring this woeful chapter to an abrupt end.  A lot is being done.  And, progress is being made.  Just not fast enough.  Certainly not fast enough to save Drew Ferraro’s life or any other of the dozens of teens who have taken their own lives because of bullying just this year alone.  Dozens!!  Today is only the 49th day of the year!!!  Can you see the urgency?

These are links and numbers everyone should have handy at all times:
WHOF’s Suicide Support page
STOP Teenage Suicide
Stop Bullying website
1-800-273-TALK(8255)

No child, gay or straight, black or white, fat, skinny, Martian, or otherwise should ever, EVER, be put in a position where they feel that ending their life is the only hope they have for the bullying to end.  At the end of the program handed out by Drew’s family at his memorial get-together were the words “Zero Tolerance against Bullying”.  Where have you read that before?

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Saving a Life Via Social Networking

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Since I embarked on this journey three months ago, I’ve seen some pretty heroic acts of compassion and humanity.  Total strangers reaching out, from all around the globe!, in order to attempt to save a total stranger’s life.  There’s been success storied that I’ve seen personally.  There’s been some where the situation is now-stable but still touch-and-go.  No one said this was going to be easy work.

Today, we see the first publicized case of two teenagers reaching out to save a life.  Seventeen-year-old Danny Manes and 19-year-old Gary Ramirez worked feverishly for over 5 hours to talk a fellow teen, who had been posting suicidal messages that caught Danny Manes’ eye, down from suicide.  Their hard and determined work paid great dividends when they received a message from the distraught teen thanking them for their help.  Heroes are born everyday.

Manes and Ramirez are just two of hundreds, maybe thousands!, of people, young and old, male and female, gay and straight, black, blue, and, green, working ardently to make a difference by reaching out to people in need, in particular teens with suicidal ideations.  Manes and Ramirez have a facebook page, Hopeline4Teens, that is set up specifically for helping troubled teens.

And, there’s BrettJ93 (don’t know his last name) who has the youtube video where he’s reaching out to the same demographic.  And, according to him, they’re reaching back now that they know who to reach for.  The video is marvelous work and has gotten several thousand views since I first wrote about it earlier in the week.  It needs 100 times that many!  So, keep sharing it.

The army continues to grow.  There are many, many people putting forth an amazing amount of effort in their quest to make a difference.  And, it’s paying huge dividends.

Danny Manes and Gary Ramirez, stand up and take a bow.  We commend you.  Great job!  Thank you for your dedicated efforts.

Other sources of social media help and outreach:
Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook
STOP Teenage Suicide
ABC: Anti-Bullying Coalition
Suicide Support
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

With Help Comes Hope

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I finally found it!  Call me slow, I guess.  Earlier in the month, facebook advertised that they were joining the fight against suicides by launching a new page that would be linked with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  Until tonight, however, all I could ever find were ARTICLES telling about it.  Determined, I tracked it down, finally.

This is a link EVERYONE needs to have handy in case of emergency.  Copy and paste it somewhere.  Then, write the phone number down somewhere where it’s easily accessible.

I’m very happy to report that Joshua is doing much better, thanks to the overwhelming support he’s gotten from around the world!  He even started therapy.  So, kudos to all of you who read about him here and reached out to him.  And, for those of you who didn’t, you still can send him a friend request.  He’s accepting all.

When you check out the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and read down the page,  you’ll see several opportunities for you to reach out, send messages, and embrace these emotionally wounded people as they struggle through a very tough period of their lives.  A couple who jumped off the age at me were GaryLucas Love Wang, and Chloe Strand.  They’re both contemplating at this very moment.  Just as we all reached out and pulled Joshua back from the edge, these two people now need that same support.  With help comes hope.

Written by Ron Kemp

December 30, 2011 at 3:50 am