4,600 is the number of children between the ages of 10 and 24 that die by suicide each year; while during that same period, an additional 157,000 are treated in Emergency Rooms across the country for self-inflicted injuries.
That’s approximately 323,200 parents who will question every decision they ever made up until that point and worse, roughly 9,200 that will be left childless.
And unfortunately as heartbreaking as those statistics are, that’s only where the ripple effect begins.
So while the legislators are working on campus security to protect our kids when they’re at school, we need to do our part at home by keeping them emotionally armed and protected, beginning with:
‘14 Reasons Why NOT’
1. You are perfect exactly as you are.
Accept yourself. Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are. Celebrate your perfections and your flaws they are what makes you unique.
2. Respect yourself
If you don’t, others won’t either. Remember the world sees what you put out there. Hold yourself to a high standard of grace and elegance.
3. Your self-worth is not determined by others.
Ignore the opinions of other people. Your opinion of yourself is the only thing that matters.
4. Not everyone is going to like you
And it doesn’t matter. Don’t let it phase you. The sooner you embrace that, the better off you’ll be that they don’t. But the one’s that do, they will never forget you.
5. Resist peer pressure
Peer pressure is pressure you put on yourself to do things just to fit in. You’re not going to fit in with everyone. The great ones never do. Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out.
6. Being popular doesn’t matter.
It’s less important to have a ton of friends then it is to have a handful of real ones. Surround yourself with people who push you to go further in life and believe in your dreams.
7. Bullies are unhappy insecure people.
They should be pitied, not feared. Once you realize that, you take away their power and their words can no longer hurt you
8. Don’t stress yourself too much.
Take a deep breath. You are strong enough to cope with your challenges. Smart enough to find solutions to your problems. Capable enough to do whatever needs to be done. Just do your very best.
9. Your sexuality does not define you.
It’s only part of you. If you’re straight, great. If you’re gay, great. If you’re bisexual, great. If you’re unsure, great. Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed of it.
10. Forgive yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up. Mistakes are meant to guide you not define you. Learn from them and move on.
11. Speak your truth.
Even if your voice shakes. What you say matters. Speak up for what’s important. It’s possible to be honest and kind. Your voice is important. You words are your power.
12. You’re not alone.
Yes, we all feel this way sometimes. No, you won’t always feel like this. Yes, the world is a better place with you in it.
13. Never never never give up.
Life is good. And when it’s not, it will get better. Whatever it is that you’re going through, you will get through it. So do not give up over one bad chapter in your book. Keep going… Your story has just begun.
And I will always love and support you.
20% of the net proceeds of all ‘#14ReasonsWhyNot’ Suicide Prevention T-Shirts and other merchandise will be donated to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Additional Youth Suicide Statistics:
- 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.
- 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-24 in the world
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people in the US
- More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
- For every suicide among our youth, there are at least another 100 suicide attempts.
- Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,470 attempts by young people grades 9-12. If these percentages are additionally applied to grades 7 & 8, the numbers would be higher.
- Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs
- 16% of High School students reported seriously considering suicide,
- 13% reported creating a plan
- 8% reporting trying to take their own life
- Lesbian, gay, and bisexual kids are 3x more likely than straight kids to attempt suicide at some point in their lives.