Teenage suicide – what to do?

The phone rings.  I pick up.


“Sarah, it’s Bee”

“Oh, hi Bee.”  I sigh, I’m not really in the mood to talk to anyone from JC’s school.

“You know JC has this school excursion into the city tomorrow.  In light of his recent issues, I have been asked to accompany them in an incognito kind of way.  So that he wouldn’t be aware that I was with them, if you know what I mean.  Are you okay with that?”

I would be a fool not to be okay with any kind of support offered to JC, but I can’t help thinking that this is all a little late.

“That’s fine.”

“I have been asked to look out for what signs he might display if he is under any stress.”

I am tempted to say that he is ALWAYS under stress, only you don’t notice it.  I choose not to go down that route.

“He probably won’t show anything until he gets home, but he might become withdrawn, very quiet, look at his phone all the time.  As I said, I doubt he will do anything drastic, just wait to get home for the meltdown to occur.”

“I understand.”

Do you Bee, do you?  Because last week when our son was threatening suicide for God knows what reason, no-one seemed to understand then.  No-one understood that by virtue of the fact that JC got in the car that day and asked to have his medication looked at and begged to see someone because he had been planning his suicide, right down to how he was going to do it, that his condition was god-almighty serious, that his life was in the balance.  No-one understood then.  Now the pressure has passed, due to us keeping him home for a week, now you want to know what the signs are and you tell me you understand.

I think not.

For over a week now, I have been calling psychologists, psychiatric units and other professionals to help me help my son.  At every call I have been told that there is a waiting list (ranging in length from 4 weeks to 6 months!!!!), that until my son commits the act of suicide (which I guess we have to pray he botches up), they can’t see him on an emergency basis.  If I am that worried, of course, I can take him to the emergency department of my local hospital, apparently.

This is society’s solution to a growing epidemic.  Reactionary, rather than proactive, assistance.  Take him to the already burgeoning emergency room.  Have they any idea what that would be like for my son?  Firstly, being in a room that is overcrowded with sick, drunk and drug affected people is just going to totally freak him out.  We would be lucky to be there long enough to see anyone.

What message has been sent my son this week?  Don’t worry son, you are suicidal, begging for help (no mean feat for any child, let alone a child that is on the spectrum), but hey, until you actually go through with it, there is no help for you.  I feel sick just thinking it.

I have to ask the question, is this a cause for the increase in teenage suicides? It’s not real until it actually happens?

I have not been a nice person this week.  I have crapped on two psychologists and told my son’s teachers they aren’t giving the matter serious enough attention.

My son may think that society doesn’t care, but by God, he will know that I care. And I do care, I care very very much.

I have to deal with this crisis right now, but I have suspended my studies and I will be investigating this further.  We cannot have this continue any longer.  6 month waiting lists for suicidal children – it’s just ridiculous!!


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