For those of you who are personal involved with me, you know I am a big supporter of helping those who suffer from a mental illness or contemplating suicide that sort of thing. I read this article where it seems the newest trend among teenager is suicide by cop. Now, for those who have no idea what that mean, let me try and explain it as best I can. Suicide by cop is when someone points a gun at a police officer, ignore all warnings to drop the weapon and the cops are then forced to shoot the person. So far, there have been two cases that I’ve read about–one in San Diego and one in L.A. Both these teenagers left suicide notes.
Now, I hear people asking “why did they have to kill the kid?” “Couldn’t they shoot the kid in the leg or the arm?” ” Can’t the cops tell a fake fun from a real one?”
These are all valid questions. I don’t know the answers to two of these but the last one about the fake vs real guns, I can speak from experience. One year, I wanted to dress as a police officer for Halloween and I set about putting together the pieces I needed. I went into a costume store and began browsing the weapons section. Trust me, these guns look real. It isn’t until you pick them up (some of them) that you realize they are indeed fake. So, sometimes it is impossible to tell if a gun is real or fake.
As for the other two questions, I don’t know the answers but I’m going to hazard a guess. When it comes to police officers and people pointing guns at them, cops are going to take the person out so that said person cannot recover and shoot at them in that situation. And while I’m a big supporter of protecting our children, you have a gun pointing at police officer. In one of these scenarios, after the cops demanded he drop the gun, not only did he point it at them, he began advancing on the cops.
Others are saying it wouldn’t be a big deal if the cops got shot because they are wearing Kevlar – this does not protect an officer from a shot to the head or neck and in some cases the abdomen. I’m not doctor but even I can tell you there is no coming back from a bullet to any of these places.
Over the past few years, the relationship between civilians and police officers in the United States had deteriorated. I don’t have to tell anyone that–it’s all over the news. Cops doesn’t trust civilians and vice versa. The relationship visible minorities and the police even worse. Now, this article did not state what race these boys were so it is safe to assume they aren’t from a visible minority.
But this article isn’t about race or even the stagnant relationship between people and law. This is about our children losing hope so much so that they chose to end their lives.
As parents (I’m going to say we even though I’m not a parent yet) we need to start talking to our children. We need to raise our children with the idea that yes, we are your parents. Yes, if you act up we will shut that down but if you’re in trouble, if you feel at all like life is being one big pile of suckage, you can talk to us and we won’t judge. I can only speak from my background.
I am Jamaican. And after university I fell into a MAJOR depression. When I went to those who should help, I was promptly told that I wasn’t depressed. That there was nothing wrong with me and I should find something to do. Keep in mind, at the time I was working two dead end jobs, writing full time and desperately trying to build a social life – but apparently I wasn’t doing enough. I had to struggle, with the help of a few close friends, my niece and a few rather expensive therapy sessions (because my doctor refused to refer me to a therapist to make it be covered by OHIP). Thankfully, I still have days where I don’t want to get out of bed but now I know how to manage and I have those I can run to.
I am from a culture that for the most part doesn’t believe in mental illness. Hell, some people from my culture still believe if someone dies suddenly that someone obeyah them (voodoo curse) or duppy lick dem – they were struck by a ghost. So most times, getting help from anyone in this culture is next to impossible.
Our kids aren’t perfect. They are flawed just like we are and with the rising issues in the world, we have to be a little bit more open and tolerant of each other. We have to teach our children that it’s okay to not be okay. That when they are having those days when all they want to do is die, all they have to do is seek you out. If you don’t know who to turn to, there is the Kid’s Help Phone. I’m pretty sure if you’re in the US and call them and say “I’m from Boise and I’m thinking of ending it all” they aren’t going to say “We can’t help you.” They WILL help you.
If your child comes to you and asks for help, if you don’t know who to help them, you can google resources in your area. There are TONS of websites telling you where to go and who to talk to. If you can’t do that walk into a police station, fire department, hospital, medical clinic, and explain the situation to them and ask what to do. These are trained professional. They are there to render assistance so you and your family can be happy and healthy.
Please–we need to find a way to stop this rash of suicides amongst children. It seem every day I read the news there is another one.
Here are some resources:
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 – Please keep in mind this line is also LGBT friendly.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: This is not a crisis center but if you need educational materials including where to get help, how to coop with a loss due to suicide etc
Ontario Association for Suicide Prevention: This is not a crisis center but they can help you out with info, resources etc. And if you click on their link to Crisis Support there are a few places that can help.
Now these are just a few places. There are others.
For Americans: (Keep in mind that I am Canadian and I am not familiar with any of these – if you have any others you’d like me to add, please let me know in the comment section below)
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Hotlines: This seems to be a list of hotlines by states including Hawaii
Your life counts: This site has a list of crisis lines around the world. There seem to be a few countries missing from the list but it is a start.
Hugs everyone, and please be safe.