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I had a friend in high school who told me he was going to ‘kill himself’. I was beside myself with worry, told my parents and my dad said – “If he was going to kill himself, he wouldn’t tell you first.” Of course the guy did not kill himself, but my brother did… Parents should never have to bury their children but they certainly shouldn't have to bury them because they've committed suicide. Suicide is such a desperate call for help and in my opinion indicates that there were no other options. The problem for most parents is how is it that our child, teen or post-teen adult lives and interacts with us every day and we have no idea that they are contemplating suicide? Mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse is often the cause of suicide.[1] Additional stress factors such as difficult interpersonal relationships, long-term sickness or financial worries can also contribute to feelings that “life is no longer worth living”.

According to, most suicidal people give signals of their intentions. Below are some warning signs that we can look for to recognize and hopefully prevent suicides with our family, friends and students:



Suicide Warning Signs


Talking   about suicide

Any talk   about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as "I wish I hadn't been   born," "If I see you again..." and "I'd be better off   dead."

Seeking   out lethal means

Seeking   access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a   suicide attempt.

Preoccupation   with death

Unusual   focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.

No hope   for the future

Feelings   of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped ("There's no way   out"). Belief that things will never get better or change.

Self-loathing,   self-hatred

Feelings   of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden   ("Everyone would be better off without me").

Getting   affairs in order

Making out   a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family   members.

Saying   goodbye

Unusual or   unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as   if they won't be seen again.

Withdrawing   from others

Withdrawing   from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left   alone.

Self-destructive   behavior

Increased   alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks   as if they have a "death wish."

Sudden   sense of calm

A sudden   sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the   person has made a decision to commit suicide. [2]


As a parent, we don’t understand it when a young person takes his/her life because of hopelessness or frustration. We often wonder where we went wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, after accidents and homicide. It's also thought that at least 25 attempts are made for every completed teen suicide. If you are concerned, here are some prevention tips that you may use:

  1. Speak to that person if you are worried
  2. Respond quickly in a crisis. Determine if the risk is low, moderate or high
  3. Offer professional help & support

Suicide Hotlines and Crisis Support
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Suicide prevention telephone hotline funded by the U.S. government. Provides free, 24-hour assistance. 1-800-273-TALK (8255). (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

National Hopeline Network – Toll-free telephone number offering 24-hour suicide crisis support. 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433). (National Hopeline Network)


C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parenting Coach


Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! Available in September, 2013 (220 Communications)


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Someone wrote a book entitled, The Insane Society. I read that book as a teen-ager, but did not appreciate the significance of the title until I was much older and had experience with that insane society. Our children are being born inside an insane asylum and we think that they will not be affected?

When a society has a majority of the people hating a small minority of the people because of the color of their skin, how do we explain that hatred? 

If you had a friend who would express rage and hatred every time he/she saw someone wearing a blue shirt or blouse, would you worry about that friend's mental well being?

Black folk in America are trying to cope with a severe identity crisis in the midst of this insane racism. May I propose a potential remedy?

Tell our children the truth about who we are and where we came from and why we are catching Hell in America. It is all written down in that much maligned book we call the Holy Bible. Deut.28:15-68 describes a people who would go through some horrific experiences. When you read those passages, ponder this question: "Who, in all of human history, have had these experiences?"

Thankfully, Gen.15:13, 14 explains that these experiences will come to an end in 400 years. How long have Black people been enslaved here in America? Per my research, the first enslaved African sold into bondage in America was in Jamestown, VA in 1619.

Help our children especially come to understand why we are despised, hated, defrauded, raped, exploited and live in fear day and night. We are the people described in the Bible, whether we like the idea or not. We are spiritual Israel, a people with a special relationship with God.

Please share this most important information with your children. Having an identity, knowing where you came from, why you are catching Hell and that our deliverance is getting near can change our children's entire outlook on life. 

Questions? Please feel free to contact me at 

Shalom, my family.


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