Today is a special Monday or me and my family. It commemorates the day that my 15-year-old brother’s life was lost by suicide.
Marchello is the reason why I advocate for mental health and especially for suicide prevention. My advocacy includes everyone because mental health affects everyone.
However, my two main focus areas are adolescents and the faith-based community.
Did you know that suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for the age group 15-24? – Source: AFSP
As you see, my brother fell within this range. And as I discuss in my book of mental health memoirs, his death greatly affected me during my adolescent years.
So, if you are a parent of a teenager, I challenge you to initiate open conversations with them that will allow them to authentically engage with you. You might be thinking that “my child doesn’t have any mental health problems”. But there are many factors that can cause your child not to be mentally healthy.
One step that parents can take in monitoring their teen’s mental health status is to be aware of present stress in their child’s life. Again, this requires fostering a healthy environment for effective communication.
If you are looking for tips to help you get started, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a great place to start. By the way, they are also hosting their 2017 Mental Health Advocacy Forum today that will discuss several relevant topics that affect all age groups.
Click here to virtually attend any segment of the all-day forum.
Remember, you can help stop suicide!