The heavy topic of suicide filled my 3 hour class last night. Rather a seasoned counselor or a new up-and-coming counselor, suicide is never an easy topic. There’s no cookie cutter response, and even though you may take all of the ethical, legal, and moral steps to keep a client from committing suicide, there’s not a 100% guarantee that your efforts will prevent a suicide. My heart lies in working with families and adolescents, and the hits teenagers take from adults makes me shudder. Somewhere along the line some adults lose reference of what it was like to be a teenager, and their “no one understands” remarks don’t seem to be far from the truth. A large number of teenagers may not have the responsibilities of adults, but I dare to say that the adolescent years are in fact much more chaotic and unstable than any other time of life. Yet I still hear things like:
“If I hear one more teenager talk about how hard life is…!”
A broken heart, friendship, not understanding your emotions or body, feeling somewhere between a child and an adult; even if teenagers brains were fully developed and they had the coping skills to deal with all of these changes they would still be facing backlash because they’re “different”. Parents, mentors, teachers, and adults from all walks of life – take the teens in your life serious, empathize with them, be there for them, and if they threaten, talk about, or show obvious or unobvious signs of contemplating suicide or show signs of depression, DON’T brush them off.