A 15-year-old student at my daughter’s old high school stepped in front of a train a few days ago, apparently a suicide. A 14-year-old boy committed suicide in the same way last year. The reporter interviewed a teacher whose 18-year-old son committed suicide.
(Margo) Wixsom, the photography teacher, said she believes that increased discussion about depression, mental illness and suicide can save lives.
“It is true that parents here have high expectations,” she said. “But suicide is not about parental expectations, any more than cancer or any other disease is about parent expectations. Suicide is caused by depression; mental illness,” she said.
Wixsom said teenagers are “highly susceptible” to depression. “And they don’t feel comfortable talking about it. Boys, particularly, aren’t encouraged to talk about their feelings. They want to be strong, tough it out. And they don’t want to distress their parents. Girls may cry for help, first, but with boys, it is much more effective. It tends to be irreversible. It is a very clear choice.”
“Building a brick wall around the train tracks won’t prevent suicide. Talking to kids will,” Wixsom said.
I hope so.