The suicide statistics are startling.
- Suicide rates have increased by 76% for ages 15-18.
- Suicide rates have nearly doubled in teen girls.
- The highest rate of increase in suicide among all age groups is in kids between 10 and 14 years old.
- Depressive symptoms are up 21% in boys, and up 50% in girls.
- Suicide attempts among black teens increased by 73% between 1991 and 2017, and there is elevated risk of suicide amonth African American boys ages 5-11.
- In early 2020, an estimated 1 out of 4 young adults contemplated suicide.
- In March 2020, the Disaster Distress Helpline saw an increase of 891% in call volumn.
These statistics are taken from the Book Seen, co-written by my friend Will Hutcherson. Will is a national speaker, the founder of Curate Hope and a next gen/youth pastor of 15 years. His passion is to find practical ways to bring hope to kids and teens who are facing increasing amounts of anxiety, depression, and despair.
Perhaps as you read those statistics, you thought, Not my child! My kid is doing fine.
That’s what I thought too, until I learned from a mom friend that my daughter had been talking to her daughter about taking her life. It startled me, scared me, and woke me up. Even kids from good homes can deal with despair and depression.
When we were told this about our daughter, we became very intentional about implementing a lot of the principles that Will and his co-author Dr. Chinwe Williams talk about in their book. Of course, we didn’t have the book back then, but we believed and lived out a lot of its principles already with our kids.
Which leads me to another point: you can do a lot right as a parent, and still have a child who struggles with anxiety and despair. In this book, Will and Chinwe lay out a strategy for healing anxiety and despair in kids and teens through the power of connection. And if you are already striving to make that connection, then the healing will happen. Unfortunately, our kids face a lot of pressures and influences in our society that fight against what we may be instilling in them at home.
On top of those negatives influences, parents often assume that when their kids are in their teens they do not need them as much. But nothing could be further from the truth. They need you as much, or even more–showing up and connecting in different ways than when they were small.
So before you dismiss this book and say, I don’t need to read it, my kids are great, please, please rethink that and take some time to read the book. It is under 150 pages and is a must-read for all parents, teachers, coaches, principals–anyone who works with kids. You can buy it on Amazon.
If, after reading the book, you’d like help implementing the principles in your home, I can work with you and give you tools to do that. Schedule a free intro call here.
*I am not receiving any compensation for this post. I just believe in this book.