A silent epidemic, mental health

Little PrinceSeptember, among others, is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  For those of us who have lost a loved one to suicide, we wish we knew then what we know now, we wish every month was Suicide Prevention Month and we wish that each and every one of us takes responsibility for suicide.

Schools could be instrumental  in identifying students with mental problems and help them. Sadly, many schools are not prepared for this role.  Flagler Schools have assigned only $1000 in their 2016-2017 budget for mental health. A county that still reels from the pain of recent suicides our schools should seek for supplementary funding opportunities to provide school-based mental health services. Funding would also allow training school faculty and staff on the early signs of mental health conditions and coordinate services between schools and the community.

“Educators face the simple fact that, often because of a lack of resources, there just aren’t enough people to tackle the job. And the ones who are working on it are often drowning in huge caseloads. Kids in need can fall through the cracks.”

“No one ever asked me”  – Katie is one of those kids.

We, often, assume that young children do not commit suicide or mental health doesn’t affect them until they are young adults. Simply not true.  Children as young as 5 take their own lives every year.

Us, as a community, parents ,doctors, teachers, coaches, therapists, and other family members should work closely with everyone to help our young children and adults overcome mental illness, guide them to success and support suicide prevention initiatives.

If you or someone you know needs help,

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

“There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.”- Miss you Chels.