Suicide…it takes courage to ask for help

Today Beyond IQ helped save a 15 yr old boys life. Together with his school principal we created an environment in which he felt safe enough to break his silence. To hear him say the words, “I want to die” and to see him have the courage to speak these words to his mum, was truly a moving experience. There were tears all round as the impact of his words landed on our hearts.

The hardest thing for teenagers to do is open up to their parents about how they are feeling. This young man did not want to talk to his parents because he didn’t want to be a “burden” to them. Without having the experience of being a parent and feeling the love that you have towards your child, a child has no reference point to know that they are not a burden. They have no reference point to understand that the hurt that their parents would feel if something terrible happened to them, would be a burden too great to bare. Without a reference point to knowing how to deal with strong emotions, young people are left to find their own way to deal with these emotions. They are not equipped to deal with strong emotions nor to understand the complexity of family relations. They may see themselves as responsible for family quarrels, when they are not.

This young man opened up to me after a leadership development program that Beyond IQ had delivered over the past six months at his school. In the final two sessions there were exercises and activities that encouraged the students to find their voice. To discuss any important issue to them within the group and in this process to find the courage they will need as adults to ‘have their say’. He found the courage to say to me that he was not feeling good and that he wanted to just “go away”. He described more about what were the stimulating circumstances for these feelings and in doing so, took me into his trust.

When taken into the trust of a young person in pain, there is an enormous responsibility to do the right thing. Doing the right thing means that you might have to do the ‘wrong’ thing by the young person and help them break their silence. Breaking the silence on teenage suicide is an absolute must for our community if we want to help our youth. If a young person takes you into their trust you cannot promise to keep their secret. You have to honour their trust in you and ask them keep trusting in you and guide them to breaking their silence with qualified people that can help them and their family.

The words spoken by this young man’s mum, from her heart to his; her gentle touch on his arm; the tears they cried together; the mum’s deep thanks; and the hug this young man gave me as he left the principal’s office, were all expressions of love and courage. As a survivor of depression and a suicide attempt I know all too well the impacts on loved ones of not being able to ask for help. If you are suffering from or experiencing depression in your life, I ask you please, be courageous and ask for help. It takes COURAGE to ask for help.

Beyond IQ is privileged to have been taken into this young man’s trust and to have been a witness to the out-pouring of love between he and his mum.

Written by Allan. Posted in Workplace & Personal Relationships

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Hi, I'm Allan, the Director of Beyond IQ Pty Ltd. My goal is to provide you with insightful and thought provoking material. I hope to inspire you to start or join the discussion below and to keep coming back. I believe that conversation will inevitably lead to a greater truth, and I want you to be a part of it. Get to know me a little better. Find me on Facebook, add me to your circle on Google+ or join my professional network on LinkedIn

Comments (2)

  • January 27, 2012 at 11:02 am |

    Allan – what a fantastic blog post (sorry, I’m a blogger first and a person second sometimes!) and yes, more importantly, what an excellent job you must be doing with your work to be able to help this boy and his family. I suspect the world needs a LOT more people like you. Hope you’re going well.

  • January 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

    Thanks Amanda

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