Overlapping with National Suicide Prevention Week this year is National TO SAVE A LIFE WEEK (September 6 – 12), which encourages churches, parents and teens to start the new school year looking at the issues of teen suicide, bullying, depression, body image, etc., and to start the conversation to let teens know they are not alone — that help is available. To better understand the issues of teenage depression and suicide, we talked this week to Dr. Steve Gerali, author of What Do I Do When Teenagers are Depressed and Consider Suicide?, as well as a host of other publications focused on understanding the problems of adolescents.
As regards suicide prevention, let’s open with the classic question of Cain: Are we our brothers’ keepers?
That’s a great question. In the light of suicide, yes, we are — especially with teenagers. What happens with teenagers is they tend to get into a depressive state that spirals out of control to the point where they make some very irrational decisions, because they may not have the cognitive wherewithal or the coping skills to handle some of the things that they’re going through. So suicide becomes an option, and then because of the aggressive nature of adolescence, they also have the means to carry out their suicide plans.
So in that aspect, yes, we need to be watching kids.
(The rest of the interview can be read here.