There are times when we are prompted to reflect on the fragility of life; especially when some folks close to us are about to transition, or are thinking about ending their lives.
My father-in-law seems to be close to the end at the beautiful age of 96. Interestingly enough, he is 3 weeks younger than the late Queen of England. And it looks like plans will be made for us to attend his funeral virtually. Southeast Asia is a long way from North America.
Synchronicities and signs—even about the end of life—are part of the scenery we enjoy. On Sunday, I was discussing with a friend the emergence of suicidal thoughts; I experienced some during the last two weeks of June, while staying in a hotel, and they got me intrigued because they felt so irrational—and yet they were really present, possibly as a delusion. Or as a sign, a pebble on the road, so that I could more easily relate to people in that situation.
And two days ago, our son’s school announced a suicide awareness session for 7th graders. The announcement is posted below and I truly believe it is a blessing that such sensitive topics are discussed in schools nowadays. Awareness is key, as we know.
That being said, we talked with our son last night and he doesn’t want to attend the session. For someone who just turned 12, immersed in his own fantasy world, it may be difficult to conceive of someone whose desire is to take his or her life.
These are my reflections on the end of life this week; I am sure you have your own, as we all go through the ebb and flow of our human beingness.
Love & much Light!
Gilles Asselin is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: The fragility of life
Time: Sep 15, 2022 03:00 PM Eastern Time
Dear Parent / Guardian,
This school year, school staff are working to teach students about mental health and how to seek help if they are worried about themselves or a friend. We are using a program called Signs of Suicide (SOS). The program teaches students about this difficult topic and encourages them to seek help.
SOS has been used by thousands of schools over the past few decades. Studies have shown that it effectively teaches students about depression and suicide while reducing the number of students’ self-reported suicide attempts.
Through the program, students learn:
● that depression is treatable, so they are encouraged to seek help
● how to identify depression and potential suicide risk in themselves or a friend
● to ACT (Acknowledge, Care and Tell a trusted adult) if concerned about themselves or a friend
● who they can turn to at school for help, if they need it
Students will watch age-appropriate video clips and participate in a guided discussion about depression, suicide, and what to do if they are concerned about a friend. Following the video, students will complete a brief depression screening tool. This tool cannot provide a diagnosis of depression but does indicate whether a young person should be referred for evaluation by a mental health professional. Follow-up calls to parents will be made if necessary.
We encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org/parent for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn. You can also view this parent video to learn more.