Bullying, Suicide and Mental Health Don’t Wait Til It’s Too Late

This week the media and social networks have been flooded with messages about a young girl in BC who killed herself after years of bullying. I am so sorry for Amanda Todd’s story, to her family and her friends who truly did care about her.I am sorry for the pain she went through and for the pain that her loved ones are going through now. I have decided not to attach Amanda’s video that has been shown over and over again by media since her suicide. I want to include the videos of other youth who are struggling. Who we can still listen to and help. Who we can make sure do not have the same sad ending to their life that Amanda did.

Suicide is the SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH for young people in Canada, and FOURTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH for young people in the world….When are we going to listen…if you ask any of them….that is the one thing they need and want most of all….someone to listen and see them for the incredible spirit they are.

I am worried that youth who are feeling so alone and desperate will get the wrong message from the media attention and love shown to Amanda Todd following her death. I want them to know that we care, that they are loved, that I hear their pain…NOW while they are here, that it can get better- that they are not alone. You do not have to take such drastic, final measures for someone to hear you. There are people who care, who want to help, who know that there can be and is happiness and peace in the future if you just hold on a little longer. It does get better. You are amazing, unique, special and beautiful- because you are you! Don’t ever listen to someone who tells you that you are anything less than awesome or incredible. I will listen to you, there are people who will listen to you.

If suicide is the second leading cause of death in Canada for young people…why are we not doing more. Why don’t we have “Listening Rooms” at hospitals. Where someone just listens instead of a patient waiting in a “Waiting Room” for hours to see an overworked emergency staff that is worried about their time objectives and the “serious life threatening” cases rather than listening. LISTEN! SUICIDE IS THE 2nd LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN YOUNG PEOPLE IN CANADA. That sounds like it is pretty life threatening. Listen. We can stop it from ever getting to the point where someone feels alone or like they have no where to turn if we would just LISTEN.

If you look at all of the videos, blogs, messages from young people reaching out…they want someone to listen, someone to help them see they are not alone….Why don’t we have listening rooms at hospitals so they know they always have some place where they will be heard instead of judged or dismissed. This is obviously a Health care problem. We NEED TO CARE!

Don’t go looking for a video that is viral because it had a tragic ending. Learn from the tragic ending and go searching for one that is desperately calling for someone to help create happy chapters in their life story.

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