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Helping teens
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Mar 7, 2019 00:20:56   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
In a county south of Cleveland, Ohio last year there were 12 suicides of teens in 8 months with 2 from one high school. It was all over the news & was, and still is, a terrible tragedy. The schools & community have worked hard to educate families and the local students on what signs to look for, where to go if you're suffering from that kind of depression & despair. In discussing how to get teens connected with one another & supportive adults recently in sn administrator's office, a secretary said, "I'm going to start a crochet club." Three girls who were part of the discussion said they would join such a group. I wonder how many of our local schools in our own home areas could use volunteers? A supportive adult, a craft where you can increase your skills & get a finished product, a connection with others. I was struck by its simplicity & the genius of it. Just wanted to share.
 
Mar 7, 2019 00:30:30   #
canuckle49 (a regular here)
 
I am saddened to see this. I am also failing to understand why, why, why that this is happening. As parents, we need to do something to help these teens. But what ? It is breaking my heart. My children are grown and I am so thankful that my 3 did not succumb to the dangers of drugs. I will do whatever I can to help.
Mar 7, 2019 00:44:11   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
Some of the topics addressed in the education efforts include the effects of bullying, drug use, economic deprivation, academic difficulties, parental involvement & the need for parents to be parents. There doesn't seem to be one specific cause - they weren't all kids using drugs or being bullied. But they were all kids who for whatever reason felt the permanent solution to a temporary, albeit painful problem, was all they had available to them. Many reportedly didn't share their despair with anyone, directly or on soci media. Hence the need for human, regular, non-judgmental connections. And unfortunately when a person commits suicide, other folks especially kids that age, are immediately at a higher risk of self harm. Adults need to provide other options. Talking to someone they trust, accessing mental health care. In many cases, getting professional help is difficult due to the family's economic situation or even local availability of professionals who accept adolescents. But trusted adults go a long way to providing help just by being there for a kid overwhelmed by the angst of adolescence that we have all experienced to one degree or another.
Mar 7, 2019 01:11:16   #
SQM (a regular here)
 
charbaby wrote:
Some of the topics addressed in the education efforts include the effects of bullying, drug use, economic deprivation, academic difficulties, parental involvement & the need for parents to be parents. There doesn't seem to be one specific cause - they weren't all kids using drugs or being bullied. But they were all kids who for whatever reason felt the permanent solution to a temporary, albeit painful problem, was all they had available to them. Many reportedly didn't share their despair with anyone, directly or on soci media. Hence the need for human, regular, non-judgmental connections. And unfortunately when a person commits suicide, other folks especially kids that age, are immediately at a higher risk of self harm. Adults need to provide other options. Talking to someone they trust, accessing mental health care. In many cases, getting professional help is difficult due to the family's economic situation or even local availability of professionals who accept adolescents. But trusted adults go a long way to providing help just by being there for a kid overwhelmed by the angst of adolescence that we have all experienced to one degree or another.
Some of the topics addressed in the education effo... (show quote)


Very sad story. I just finished a book about the opioid problems in your state and other midwest states. More needs to be done to try to stem the flow of opioids and heroine into the hands of vulnerable kids. But I am not optimistic. The drugs will always be had. Maybe pediatricians need to be more alert to the signs of depressions in young kids. It may present differently than in adults. Teachers as well.
Mar 7, 2019 01:32:31   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
You're right. The teen brain is changing vastly on a good day. If you add chemicals like opiates, cannabis, alcohol, that brain is further compromised & stunted at least temporarily in its development. And normal teen behavior is complicated by such chemical use. Alcohol & opiates in particular are depressants. Cells at the teen brain's synapses are normally dying before the new cells are there to take over. You get a microscopic chemical soup in the brain as those cells die. There is normal high risk behaviors like physical stunts that are risky & stupid. Sexual urges acted on just because. Driving too fast. Experimenting with drugs. And then the risks for negative outcomes increases exponentially. In the meantime, Purdue Pharma, the maker of oxycontin, is exploring bankruptcy to avoid the financial consequences of the legal actions being taken against them. The Ohio Attorney General filed a lawsuit for damages the state has incurred managing this expanding epidemic of death, the cost of it to local & state police departments, the cost of narcan & hospital treatment for indigent citizens. And while all this is happening another pharmaceutical company has developed & received FDA approval for a pain killer 1000 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN MORPHINE. And we're trying to teach kids about being honorable, the consequences of their choices & how to ask for help. Sometimes it's like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. And it just keeps raining a torrent & the dike is in danger of dissolving. As a society, the more we educate our kids & support our families, the stronger we become. Knowledge is powerful. And a simple connection like a crocheting or knitting club can be the "cast on" for a stronger community of folks helping young people feel valued & become stronger, more well-rounded adults. And who knows? Maybe our own sense of worth & connection will be strengthened, too.
Mar 7, 2019 02:48:39   #
SQM (a regular here)
 
charbaby wrote:
You're right. The teen brain is changing vastly on a good day. If you add chemicals like opiates, cannabis, alcohol, that brain is further compromised & stunted at least temporarily in its development. And normal teen behavior is complicated by such chemical use. Alcohol & opiates in particular are depressants. Cells at the teen brain's synapses are normally dying before the new cells are there to take over. You get a microscopic chemical soup in the brain as those cells die. There is normal high risk behaviors like physical stunts that are risky & stupid. Sexual urges acted on just because. Driving too fast. Experimenting with drugs. And then the risks for negative outcomes increases exponentially. In the meantime, Purdue Pharma, the maker of oxycontin, is exploring bankruptcy to avoid the financial consequences of the legal actions being taken against them. The Ohio Attorney General filed a lawsuit for damages the state has incurred managing this expanding epidemic of death, the cost of it to local & state police departments, the cost of narcan & hospital treatment for indigent citizens. And while all this is happening another pharmaceutical company has developed & received FDA approval for a pain killer 1000 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN MORPHINE. And we're trying to teach kids about being honorable, the consequences of their choices & how to ask for help. Sometimes it's like the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. And it just keeps raining a torrent & the dike is in danger of dissolving. As a society, the more we educate our kids & support our families, the stronger we become. Knowledge is powerful. And a simple connection like a crocheting or knitting club can be the "cast on" for a stronger community of folks helping young people feel valued & become stronger, more well-rounded adults. And who knows? Maybe our own sense of worth & connection will be strengthened, too.
You're right. The teen brain is changing vastly on... (show quote)


So smart Char. If you are interested, the book I was referring to is called "Dreamland". The author's last name begins with a Q. It needed editing but you may be interested in seeing what is going down in your state.
 
Mar 7, 2019 02:59:09   #
Plays with Fibers
 
As the parent of a teen who committed suicide and another teen at risk for it. There are no simple answers to the problem of teen suicide. Access to top notch medical and psychological treatment is no guarantee. My son had good therapists and access to medications. It didn't stop his self destructive downward slide. Constant vigilance slows the teen determined to commit so final an act. It does not prevent it. Teens see the world in extremes and miss so much of the more subtle aspects. They see the black and white aspects of a situation, not the gray shades in between. Depression magnifies that tendency in a bad way. People tend to believe giving positive messages of love and support to a teen with depression will help the situation. At best, its often a futile effort. The depression changes the teen's ability to think rationally or to understand positive thoughts. There's just too much negative swirling in their brain. At worst, the positive messages have a counter intuitive effect. Teens are good at sarcasm. Combine teen sarcasm with teen depression and you get an angry, aggressive response. The teen sees the positive messages as mockery.
Crochet clubs won't hurt IF the adults know how to properly respond to teen confessions of depression or suicidal thoughts. Training from suicide prevention professionals in how to respond and when confidentiality should be broken - meaning, when to call in the professionals - is needed.
Mar 7, 2019 03:09:28   #
Aunty M (a regular here)
 
Plays with Fibers wrote:
As the parent of a teen who committed suicide and another teen at risk for it. There are no simple answers to the problem of teen suicide. Access to top notch medical and psychological treatment is no guarantee. My son had good therapists and access to medications. It didn't stop his self destructive downward slide. Constant vigilance slows the teen determined to commit so final an act. It does not prevent it. Teens see the world in extremes and miss so much of the more subtle aspects. They see the black and white aspects of a situation, not the gray shades in between. Depression magnifies that tendency in a bad way. People tend to believe giving positive messages of love and support to a teen with depression will help the situation. At best, its often a futile effort. The depression changes the teen's ability to think rationally or to understand positive thoughts. There's just too much negative swirling in their brain. At worst, the positive messages have a counter intuitive effect. Teens are good at sarcasm. Combine teen sarcasm with teen depression and you get an angry, aggressive response. The teen sees the positive messages as mockery.
Crochet clubs won't hurt IF the adults know how to properly respond to teen confessions of depression or suicidal thoughts. Training from suicide prevention professionals in how to respond and when confidentiality should be broken - meaning, when to call in the professionals - is needed.
As the parent of a teen who committed suicide and ... (show quote)


Yes, I agree with you 100%.

Sorry your knowledge came from such a huge loss to you.
Mar 7, 2019 04:56:42   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
Plays with Fibers wrote:
As the parent of a teen who committed suicide and another teen at risk for it. There are no simple answers to the problem of teen suicide. Access to top notch medical and psychological treatment is no guarantee. My son had good therapists and access to medications. It didn't stop his self destructive downward slide. Constant vigilance slows the teen determined to commit so final an act. It does not prevent it. Teens see the world in extremes and miss so much of the more subtle aspects. They see the black and white aspects of a situation, not the gray shades in between. Depression magnifies that tendency in a bad way. People tend to believe giving positive messages of love and support to a teen with depression will help the situation. At best, its often a futile effort. The depression changes the teen's ability to think rationally or to understand positive thoughts. There's just too much negative swirling in their brain. At worst, the positive messages have a counter intuitive effect. Teens are good at sarcasm. Combine teen sarcasm with teen depression and you get an angry, aggressive response. The teen sees the positive messages as mockery.
Crochet clubs won't hurt IF the adults know how to properly respond to teen confessions of depression or suicidal thoughts. Training from suicide prevention professionals in how to respond and when confidentiality should be broken - meaning, when to call in the professionals - is needed.
As the parent of a teen who committed suicide and ... (show quote)


I also agree with everything you said. It is such a complex problem. There are no simplistic causes nor solutions. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. Thank you for your brave words coming from your personal experience.
Mar 7, 2019 05:09:34   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
SQM wrote:
So smart Char. If you are interested, the book I was referring to is called "Dreamland". The author's last name begins with a Q. It needed editing but you may be interested in seeing what is going down in your state.

I just bought it from a used book store here. And I've been retired for 3 years but worked at a drug & alcohol treatment facility for almost 13 years before that. We knew, based on our admissions, where the opiate epidemic started in our state (& the northern portions of W. Va. and western Pennsylvania). In Ohio it was mostly in the southeast quadrant, from Columbus east & south. The stories we heard from various patients were of a truly deadly epidemic in a beautiful section of our state already beset by job & industry loss & crushing poverty. Opiates are like a plague. And if you don't use them but live in a community where lots of folks do you are still negatively affected by the crime associated with illegal use, the law enforcement costs, the sense that your town, already damaged by poverty, is being ground to rubble by addiction & drug trafficking. Quinones' "Dreamland" based on the dust jacket notes seems to confirm those patients' stories. Looking forward to reading this.
Mar 7, 2019 11:52:48   #
SQM (a regular here)
 
charbaby wrote:
I just bought it from a used book store here. And I've been retired for 3 years but worked at a drug & alcohol treatment facility for almost 13 years before that. We knew, based on our admissions, where the opiate epidemic started in our state (& the northern portions of W. Va. and western Pennsylvania). In Ohio it was mostly in the southeast quadrant, from Columbus east & south. The stories we heard from various patients were of a truly deadly epidemic in a beautiful section of our state already beset by job & industry loss & crushing poverty. Opiates are like a plague. And if you don't use them but live in a community where lots of folks do you are still negatively affected by the crime associated with illegal use, the law enforcement costs, the sense that your town, already damaged by poverty, is being ground to rubble by addiction & drug trafficking. Quinones' "Dreamland" based on the dust jacket notes seems to confirm those patients' stories. Looking forward to reading this.
I just bought it from a used book store here. And ... (show quote)


Let me know what you think after you finish. I had a hard time reading the book as it was so tragic. Again, it can be repetitious but since you have a personal connection, you will probably be hooked.
 
Mar 7, 2019 12:46:46   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
SQM wrote:
Let me know what you think after you finish. I had a hard time reading the book as it was so tragic. Again, it can be repetitious but since you have a personal connection, you will probably be hooked.

Will do!
Mar 8, 2019 11:51:23   #
colleenmay (a regular here)
 
I agree that drugs and bullying are a part of the problem, but the biggest problem is staring us in the face. It is the very construction of our current education system. Our local high school has seven THOUSAND students. Each classroom has at least fifty students at a time. How does a teacher notice each student when she has 300 students over the course of a day. Kids go to school and no one notices them or cares if they smile or cry. My granddaughter went to a very small charter school for grades 1-8. She did great. THen was swept into a humongous public senior high of thousands of kids. She could not make one single friend. No one cared or even noticed her. Even the teachers didn't seem to care or have time to give her special attention. She was on the brink of suicide. Her mom, my daughter-in-law, after fighting for her all year in the public school system and getting no where, pulled her out and put her in a small private school. She is again flourishing.

Some kids, if they are extroverts or sports stars or super-smart, can do fine in a school of thousands. But most kids are struggling with self-image and are trying to find out who they are. Putting them in huge schools that just get bigger and bigger to save money sacrifices our kids.
Mar 8, 2019 12:10:09   #
charbaby (a regular here)
 
colleenmay wrote:
I agree that drugs and bullying are a part of the problem, but the biggest problem is staring us in the face. It is the very construction of our current education system. Our local high school has seven THOUSAND students. Each classroom has at least fifty students at a time. How does a teacher notice each student when she has 300 students over the course of a day. Kids go to school and no one notices them or cares if they smile or cry. My granddaughter went to a very small charter school for grades 1-8. She did great. THen was swept into a humongous public senior high of thousands of kids. She could not make one single friend. No one cared or even noticed her. Even the teachers didn't seem to care or have time to give her special attention. She was on the brink of suicide. Her mom, my daughter-in-law, after fighting for her all year in the public school system and getting no where, pulled her out and put her in a small private school. She is again flourishing.

Some kids, if they are extroverts or sports stars or super-smart, can do fine in a school of thousands. But most kids are struggling with self-image and are trying to find out who they are. Putting them in huge schools that just get bigger and bigger to save money sacrifices our kids.
I agree that drugs and bullying are a part of the ... (show quote)

I so agree with you. My DD went to small parochial schools. Her math skills were very difficult & she couldn't have gotten better help with that. Her principal had her tested & found her to have a learning disability that negatively impacted math, spatial relationships, music & foreign language skills. She felt so much better about herself when she realized she wasn't just stupid. She's not - nearly straight As in every other subject. In the meantime a friend who chose to go to the public school from 8 years in a small Catholic school struggled with similar problems with reading. It was in the middle of consolidation of the 2 rival public high schools & she got lost in the shuffle. Her folks put her in the Catholic high school sophomore year & she thrived. There are great schools & teachers across the country. But bigger isn't better and schools may be too big to avoid failing their most vulnerable students. The old idea of neighborhood schools could be modified to fit today's communities. Our area has lost population & a reliable tax base. It's so challenging. And I for one really don't know the answer. Or answers. Less time with technology & more time connecting with real humans who care about you might be a place to start.
 
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