He’s fourteen, this cannot be possible. He is the age of my son, the age of my son’s friends, the age of the students I spent years with every day at school. This is simply not possible. He is Cindy’s, nephew, she is the superintendent’s administrative assistant. Her son just went through surgery to remove a brain tumor and now her nephew is gone. She has a passion for kindness and always helps others. Why is this happening? Life is not always a path to happiness that we frequently refer to on social media. People are suffering, there is real pain along life’s journey.
I don’t know Pierce, but the images of him are happy and one video his mom posted has him dancing with her. My heart aches for his family. He was involved, he was a Brain Bowl kid. I wonder what happened and if there were signs. But, it is not my place to ask, just offer support if I can. Cindy is sharing the story on facebook, she wants to help others, there are too many gone too soon. I let Cindy know I was going to write about Pierce in this post, and started to research the statistics for suicide.
Suicide is the number one cause of death for teens between the ages of 10-14 and the second cause of death for those between the ages of 15-24.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24.
20% of adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with mental illness.
My cousin, who I grew up with committed suicide at age 40, the family was reeling with thoughts of how we could have done more and how we could have helped, then in the blink of an eye, another cousin was lost to the same demon. The pain is real and we often do not know or understand what others are going through.
Each person we come across in our family, work, and in public have things happening we may not be aware of, so be gentle – be compassionate. It could be:
Financial – they are in over their heads with bills, child support, among other things.
No job – they have lost their job and are struggling to make ends meet.
Grief – they have lost a child, a parent, a sibling, or a friend. Grief can consume you at any point.
Marital problems – people are going through rough times or a divorce.
Illness – parents are dealing with a child that has an illness or another family member that is ill.
Struggles at school – kids have problems at school, they may not seem major to an adult, but they are all consuming to the child.
Abuse – someone’s home could be volatile and not a safe haven to retreat to when needed. This place could actually cause more stress.
Alone – feeling alone, this could be having a spouse or child overseas, could be a single parent, or could be feeling you have no support.
Be Kind ❤️ – Show Compassion ✨ – Know Love ❤️ – Just Be ✨
How to help if someone expresses suicidal thoughts or you suspect depression:
Be compassionate – listen, don’t over-react or become visually upset. Remain calm and paraphrase, don’t try to “solve” the problem.
Recommend they seek professional help – connect them to a respected counselor. Find someone who has the training and is equipped to deal with a person in need.
Educate yourself on supporting others – resource link from the mayo clinic
Spread the word of suicide prevention resources.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
This Reach Out video from the Mayo Clinic encourages teens to reach out to an adult for help and support.
We truly do not know what others are feeling. It is not our job to judge and control things. We need to be supportive, show kindness, and be gentle.
Pierce, a beautiful soul, that was loved by others – link to article.
To find out more –
Suicide Prevention: Tips for Kids and Teens