Choose life

September 20th, 2016

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In an article from The New York Times (April 22, 2016), Sabrina Tavernise reports that suicide is at its highest level in 30 years. Following are some troubling statistics from the Center for Disease Control concerning youth suicide:

  • Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease combined.
  • Each day in our nation there is an average of over 4,800 attempts by young people in grades 7 to 12.
  • Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

It is important for adults involved with teenagers to be aware of the following signs or signals that may indicate suicide is being contemplated:

  • Direct or indirect suicide threats 
  • Preoccupation/obsession with death or suicide 
  • Depression 
  • Making final arrangements: giving away possessions, saying goodbye 
  • Previous suicide attempts 

Jesus is the resurrection and the life

There can be physical, mental, emotional, social and even spiritual reasons for youth to contemplate suicide. Diagnosis and treatment for any teen considering or having attempted suicide may include counseling, medication or other types of therapy — hopefully carried out with a holistic approach that includes the spiritual. Jesus stated that he came so that we could have abundant life. As followers of Christ, we must disciple our teens in a life-affirming, life-giving manner. Jesus loved and died for the broken, distressed and oppressed. Even in the best of circumstances, the teenage years are filled with angst. When youth are experiencing trouble and struggle, whether mild or severe, we must help them understand that Jesus is always with them, knows their troubles and understands all of life’s frustrations and sadness. Anyone contemplating suicide has lost all hope. We must keep them connected to Jesus, the hope of our lives.

Question of the day: Have you ever considered life not worth living?
Focal scriptures: Matthew 6:26-30; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Acts 17:28-29

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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