Every time I hear of a tragedy at a school-and there are far too many, these days-I am taken back to my 10th grade history classroom on April 20th, 1999. The news about the Columbine shooting had just broken. Ms. Murphy flicked on the TV set and we watched in absolute shock and horror. This was the very beginning of kids having cell phones at school, and all at once our Nokias started buzzing in our pockets as worried parents called just to say they loved us and make sure we were OK.
Even 20 miles from Columbine in a suburb on the opposite side of town, we were affected. And today when I read the news of a fire possibly due to a suicide attempt at Standley Lake High School, just 6 miles from my house, I am affected. The recent shootings in Roswell and Arapahoe High School, I was affected. You never stop being affected by the notion that a child could hurt so deeply, so badly…that they would want to inflict that hurt on others and take their own lives.
I don’t know what goes on in someone’s head when they make that decision, or even if the decision is a conscious one. But what I do know is that there is a pandemic of hurting children, and we as parents are in the best position to help them heal.
I have no authority on the subject, at all. I’m as clueless and helpless as any other parent would be if they were faced with this situation. Thankfully, there are some amazing resources to help parents and kids talk about bullying, depression, suicide, and how to cope when tragedy strikes.
- A grassroots, volunteer run suicide prevention program. Their mission statement is “Making suicide prevention accessible to everyone and removing barriers to help, by empowering communities and individuals through leadership, awareness, and education, and by collaborating and partnering with networks to save lives.”
- Resources for parents, teens, survivors, and schools
- Tips for parents on preventing kids from becoming bullies or bullying victims
- Advocacy program to train parents to navigate the healthcare and legislative systems, making sure hurting kids get the help they need
- Provides anonymous reporting of bullying, suspected abuse, drug use, suicide attmepts, or any other harmful and dangerous behaviors
- Presentatations to schools, communities, and law enforcement on noticing, reporting, intervening, and coping with these situations
- A very thoughtful guide for parents, on how to discuss tragedies with their children and support them through their grief
If you, your child, or someone you know has threatened or attempted to harm themselves or someone else, PLEASE immediately contact Metro Crisis Services at 1-888-885-1222, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE
We at Coloradomoms.com take this issue very seriously and personally. We are dedicated to our readers and the community, and our hearts go out to all those affected by these types of tragedies. We hope that you never hesitate to reach out for help, whether it is for you, your child, or someone you know.