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by SWPoet
Rated: 13+ · Other · Reference · #1420653
Links to resources for various social issues mentioned in the folder
If you want or need to know more about any of the issues I have addressed in other poems, check this item out.  No literary value here so no need to judge anything other than the quality of the links, perhaps.  I will be adding to this as I go.  If you have a link you feel should be here, please email me.  These are listed under the story or item that mentions these issues.  Thank you.

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RE:  ANDREW'S LEGACY
 Andrew's Legacy  (13+)
Spring brings healing- (Apr Quote Cont.) w/poem-"April, When I Find You"
#1418983 by SWPoet



FOR INFORMATION ABOUT SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION,
PLEASE CHECK OUT THIS LINK

http://www.metanoia.org/suicide (note: This link was rechecked 10/2010 and still excellent resource)

*Note1*Although this is a fictional story with fictional names, what happened and the feelings felt afterward are based on an actual event.  Even with several social workers in the family, and with others who knew stereotypical signs of suididal thoughts in teenagers, it still happened. 

*Note2*What kids do at school with friends might not be told to the parents (ie. giving things away, or telling their friends about plans for ending their life).  You would be amazed how many puzzle pieces are finally put together at a funeral and how clear that picture is when it's too late to do something about it. 

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ANDREW'S LEGACY
HOW YOU CAN HELP


If you have children or grandchildren, here are some ideas to help you
teach them to avoid the circumstances that lead to suicide.

*Idea*  ENCOURAGE CREATIVE EXPRESSION -
Introduce your youngsters (any age) to different forms of creative expression such as art, music, the ability to make music, writing (for themselves- not for grades), journaling, singing, etc.

*Idea* HAVE "THE TALK" ABOUT SUICIDE ALSO
When you have "the talk" with your middle schoolers about sex, drugs, smoking, etc., make sure to mention that they may have a friend who is talking about suicide or giving away their things.  Tell them they need to tell a responsible adult at school or a parent who knows the child. They have to be brave about this as their friend may be mad at them-but at least they might be alive to mend fences later (and they will know your child cared). 

*Idea*  KEEP YOUR COMMUNICATION "DOOR" OPEN
Be sure to keep an open door policy about telling you their feelings. Hopefully, you will be the one they tell when they need help.

*Idea* "IT TAKES A VILLAGE" -
Expose your children to other responsible adults you trust outside the home or the family (coach, church member, neighbor, etc).  One adult mentor, with whom the child has already developed a trusting relationship, could be the difference between life and death.

*Idea* TRUST YOUR INTUITION
Trust your gut instinct.  If you feel there is something different about a child in question and your gut says he or she needs help.  Don't waste time and don't worry about what the neighbors will think.  If a child dies of suicide, their death is in the paper and everyone in school and in your neighborhood will know what happened.  How many will know if you take the child to a counseling appointment twice a month?

*Idea*  "NOT JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE"
Yes, it can happen to someone in your family.  And it's not always the teens.  Girls and boys show signs in different ways.  The elderly are joining ranks in frequency of suicides.  Those in the 40's-60's are just as likely and they are more likely to get it right the first time. 

*Idea*  LISTEN AND RESPOND  "NO MATTER WHAT"
Take it seriously every time someone communicates their interest in ending their lives.  Even if they threaten alot, show them you take them seriously. They may be just the message they are looking for.   

A FINAL MESSAGE:
If suicide has touched your family already, please try not to blame yourself.  We can do all the things above and it could still happen.  After all, an individual has free will and their own demons to slay. However, we can start early to set the stage for healthy emotional growth and a sense of balance in our kids.  We can also be a "mentor" for others' children while they are still young. 
BE CREATIVE, BE OPEN, BE PROACTIVE, BE A MENTOR!
Thank you
SWPoet
Cousin of CMC
"Andrew" in the story cited above
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