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Aug 7, 2018

Let’s talk about suicide among children, too!

But what does this death by suicide say to other children who may be going through a tough time? It can have a negative impact – but it also brings into sharp focus the need to talk about suicides – as well as to have the discussion of mental health disorders. Gutierrez says that the death by suicide of a young child is of concern and it must not go in vain, but spark a national conversation and action.

 

Deshane Gutierrez, Clinical Psychologist

Deshane Gutierrez

“Whenever there is a suicide and it is publicized so much, there is usually an effect where more persons actually contemplate suicide or complete suicide. So, I think that was my fear seeing it a log on facebook that a lot of people are hearing of it. Research usually shows that whenever we publicize suicide there is a higher chance that more people would commit suicide – so that is the fear of publicizing suicide. Turning on the flip side of it is trying to encourage people to have that conversation. If we can have that conversation – start that conversation not just for adults and not just for teenagers, but from children. I think that is where we need to start now. This is an eye-opener. I know it is an uncomfortable topic but can we deal with that discomfort and start that conversation and start a movement whereby it becomes a part of conversation where we don’t just hear someone say I am tire of this or I am tired of living. But trying to understand where that person is coming from because sometimes it is just their way of saying, I am tired of dealing with what I am dealing with. The concern is we need to have more conversations. We need to have it in the schools. We need parents to have more conversation. So, for me, it is more of this is an eye-opener. What’s gonna happen next? Are we gonna talk about it and in a couple weeks a next hot story comes about and we talk about it? Or are we gonna work towards more education in terms of letting people understand the symptoms and also letting them know that there are professionals that you can access that can help you during this trial time. So, for me, the main thing is getting people to want to start having that conversation because I think that is what is important. Because once we start that process, then we can think of more ideas in terms of how or what would be the next intervention. So for me, I think the first process would be education because often times we hear people say children can’t get stressed out, they nuh pay bills. So, I think having that awareness in the beginning is one of the first steps that we need to have.”

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