All of us can do our part to prevent suicide. Reaching out means: first, paying attention and noticing when people are showing signs that they could be at risk, and second, taking the time to let people know we care.
This time of year can be especially challenging for many school-age youth. Ally Week is a good time to commit to making it easy for the young people in our lives to ask for help and letting them know that asking for help is good and should be celebrated as courageous.
I'm not writing from the perspective of a dad. I'm writing from the perspective of having lived in my own personal hell as an early teen -- one of which no one was aware, but from which I could see no hope.
While I usually speak about economic issues or geopolitic or global issues, today I would like to discuss an issue that's about care for our kids, about the next generation and about a specific danger they are facing: suicide.
As a parent, there are things you can do to help support your child, including opening lines of communication and establishing trust early, which can then help your child in times of crisis. Your love and support may help save a child's life.
Statistics can be chilling: 34,000 people die by their own hands in the USA each year (that's a suicide every 15 minutes, nearly twice that of homicides) and more veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan take their lives than die in combat.