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Posts Tagged ‘teen suicide in the u.k.

Joshua James Maddox, 15: Bullying Leads to Suicide in the U.K.

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Bullying, and bully-related suicide, isn’t restricted to the U.S. borders.  It’s happening worldwide.  The stories and the circumstances really don’t vary that much:  one or more misguided kid dealing with his or her own self-esteem issues, or just trying to fit in, verbally, emotionally, or sometimes physically abuses one of their peers to the point where that peer can’t take anymore and ends his/her life.  Add to that, the “official” response to it is also quite universal…to the point of frustration.joshua maddox2Joshua James Maddox was a month away from celebrating his 16th birthday.  He apparently dealt with Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder for which he “suffered months of cruel taunts from classmates“.  He also had a girlfriend who was two years younger than himself, for which he was labeled and “paedo” and, again, taunted brutally.

The list continues to grow.

We’re no closer to a solution today than we were last year at this time.

I woke up earlier this week to a voicemail from a distraught, tearful mother who had just lost her young son to yet another bully-related suicide.  It was heartbreaking to hear the depth of her pain.  Through my own tears, I was reminded how real this is and how devastated families are following these tragedies.  I was reminded that we need to be doing much, much more to prevent this from continuing to happen.joshua maddox3

Here’s the deal:  this is not going to get any better until we truly reach the point where we say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! and truly mean it.  It’s that simple.  Parents of the bullies must be held accountable for their kids actions, especially when their child’s actions lead to the death of another child.  The bullies, themselves, must be held accountable, especially when their actions lead to the death of another person.  The school “officials” absolutely must be held accountable when they fail to take action to prevent bullying to continue to fester in their classrooms and schools.  The only way out of this is total accountability!  As long as no one has to answer for these life-changing tragedies, they are going to continue to happen.

I want young people to see what effect bullying can have and educate them better about how to deal with children who have mental health issues.

I think bullies need a stronger punishment, I feel deep down that nothing will be done about this and I worry it could happen to another family.

Those are the words of Joshua’s heartbroken mother, but they could be the words of many, many other mothers, and fathers, of past suicide victims whose child had endured insufferable bullying.  They are also the words that are now being echoed around this country and around the world.  There HAS to be accountability!!!

It’s becoming increasingly hard for me to believe anything other than the fact that these bullies simply do not care about human life.  They have no regards for the lives of others.  Bullying and bully-related suicides are in the news with such regularity, the only way to not know what’s going on is to live with your head tucked safely in a place where the sun doesn’t typically reach. joshua maddox

There are still those who say that these young bullies should face no punishment, that they should not be held accountable when their actions lead directly to one of their schoolmates ends his/her life.  There are still those who say that we need to coddle the bullies because they are dealing with issues, themselves.  To those people, I will simply say tell that to some of these parents who are now left with unfathomable grief, with a gaping hole right in the middle of their hearts and lives, for the rest of their lives!!   Explain to the grieving mother who just told me, through tears, that she just wants to hear her son sing again that his bullies shouldn’t be held accountable.  Tell Joshua’s parents that the bullies who tormented her son because he had ADHD and a girlfriend 2 years younger than himself that no one should be held accountable for her having to live the rest of her life without her talented son.  You can’t.  And, you know why you can’t?  Easy answer.  You can’t because you’re speaking theoretically.  You would have a much different point of view if this were your own child or someone close to your life.  Then, you, too, would want to see heads roll.  There has to be accountability.  Anything less than that, and we’re sending the message that these young lives are expendable.  They’re certainly not.

The “Sweet 16th” birthday is a milestone that Joshua Maddox won’t get to experience.  How much longer are we going to allow this to continue before we finally mean it when we say enough is enough!!!???

Rest in peace, Joshua.

******************************SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES******************************

SUICIDE PREVENTION

BEFRIENDERS

SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: the blog page

Tallulah Wilson, 15, Yet Another Death by Suicide

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Why are there websites that encourage suicide and/or self-harm?  Freedom of speech is one thing.  As with everything else in life, that freedom comes with a responsibility.  In this case, that “responsibility” was thrown out the window.  In fact, if there’s any “responsibility” involved, someone should be responsible for encouraging 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson to commit suicide.Tallulah Wilson ended her young life, in the U.K., Sunday, October 14th.  She had dealt with anorexia.  Before her death, she had frequented websites that promoted anorexia and suicide.  It’s also apparent, from some of her online posts just three days before her death, that she was dealing with depression.

“My life is not worth living when we don’t talk. The temptation is unbearable. I just don’t want to wake up any more.”

There is also talk of Tallulah being bullied at her school.  That’s unconfirmed, at this point.  However, for someone already dealing with mental health issues – and, anorexia is a mental health issue – bullying would only exacerbate the problem.

“why the f*** should I stay if no one around me stay for me? It’s not f***ing fair. I’m done. I’m f***ing done”  It was followed by another harrowing message last week that read: ‘I don’t want to wake up anymore’.

There are so many things wrong, here.  First and foremost, once again, I’m left scratching my head, wondering how is it that these young people a crying out for help in a, world-wide public forum, yet no one is hearing them?  Every cry for help has to be taken seriously until the crisis is at least manageable.  Now, I do know that there are cases where the cries are heard and the loved ones do everything within their power to save the person in crisis, and their efforts just aren’t enough to overpower the deep depression the person is in.  That said, the question in my mind is “are those cases the exception or the rule?”  Obviously, I can’t answer that.

Tallulah’s devastated parents…said in a statement: “She was a clever, cheerful and creative girl with a talent for dance and huge potential. She will be sadly missed.”

The Head Master at Tallulah’s school said that there was “…no hint that she was unhappy”.  Yet, we now know that she had been dealing with suicidal thoughts at least as far back as July.  We’re missing crucial signs that could be saving lives.

What makes this even more troubling is the websites that Tallulah had been frequenting prior to her suicide.  How is it that there’s no accountability for having a website that promotes self-harm and suicide?  Doesn’t free speech come with responsibility?  Well, of course it does.  It’s very well-known that there are things that you can say right now that would have you immediately arrested or, at the very least, have a lot of questions to answer.  But, why?  Shouldn’t it be covered by free speech?  The answer is that with “free speech” comes responsibility.  As such, sites that promotes any type of violence, self-harm, or suicide needs to be heavily regulated.

Pro-anorexia sites can be particularly dangerous. They encourage people to believe that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice and not the serious mental illness they truly are.”

Or, perhaps we need to do a much, much better job of monitor what our young people are doing online.  Either way, this is a serious instance of the proverbial ball being dropped.  And, as a result, here we are, once again, saying goodbye to another person whose life hadn’t even begun.

So sorry no one could catch you in time, Tallulah.  You can rest, now, in peace.

******************************Suicide Prevention Resources******************************

Understanding Teenage Depression

What Teen Depression Looks Like

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Befrienders

Enough is Enough: the blog page