Today’s bright and beautiful crochet mandala for the Mandalas for Marinke project comes to us from Cindy G.
“I was greatly saddened to read of Wink’s suicide because, while I didn’t know her personally, I knew her through her contributions to the crochet society. It breaks my heart to know that someone who seemed so happy and successful on the outside was battling such fierce inner demons and was unable to conquer them.
I don’t suffer from chronic depression, and the times that I have been depressed have been manageable and fleeting. I’ve never experienced the soul-crushing stage of depression, but I have friends, family, and sadly, students (I teach middle school) who have. About a year ago, one of my students committed suicide, and just this weekend, I learned that a member of my family did not die of a sudden heart attack as many had been told (and most still believe), but of an overdose.
I feel helpless when I hear of someone who has committed suicide and wonder what I could have done that may have helped to prevent it. I know that increased awareness is a first step, and I applaud your mission to educate people about mental illness.”
Cindy’s letter touched my heart, because I’ve heard of so many young people dying by suicide recently. I do pet therapy volunteering with golden retriever Lucy and one of the places that we go is a local middle school; it always surprises me to see how little (young) those kids really are. When I think back to my middle school days, I felt so old and world-weary and stressed but I can see now that I was so, so young. And my heart goes out to the kids who are struggling, feeling like they can’t make it through another day, when there is just so much life and change ahead of them.
Here are some resources for teachers (that other adults might like as well):
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC): The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide
- Suicide prevention classroom activity via PBS “In the Mix”
- Additional awareness and prevention classroom activity via KidsHealth in the Classroom
- Educator resources for suicide prevention and awareness from TeacherVision
- Suicide awareness in elementary school