Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It's Still September so Let's Keep Raising Awareness

Even though there is only a week and a half left in the month of September, it is still important to keep the conversation going. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens between the ages of 15 and 24. Prevention by raising awareness will help decrease the rate and save lives. Don't be afraid to have the conversation. Don't be afraid to get help. 


While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together. We can all benefit from the conversation. 

One conversation can change a life.

Know The Warning Signs

  • Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, can begin with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous
  • Increased alcohol and drug use
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Talking, writing or thinking about death
  • Impulsive or reckless behavior


 Know How To Get Help


Crisis Resources

  • If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.



Suicide is hard to talk about but the conversations need to be had. How do you start the conversation? Do you know the warning signs?

Best, Becca

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

13 Reasons Why Controversy

Is Netflix's (and Jay Asher's) 13 Reasons Why too controversial to show on TV? Many experts think yes, and many others think it should be mandatory viewing for young teens.

I heard about this Netflix's show from a friend. Her teen and his friends were all watching it, and the show was the center of their daily chatting. She decided she needed to sit down and binge watch it to see what they were all talking about it. In passing, she had mentioned it to me. I had not yet heard of this show, however, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher is one of my favorite books, and I have read and reread it many times. So I was more than curious. I had to look it up. 

Here is the description of both the show and the book:

You can’t stop the future. 
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. 
                
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.





Newcomer Katherine Langford plays the role of Hannah, a young woman who takes her own life. Two weeks after her tragic death, a classmate named Clay finds a mysterious box on his porch. Inside the box are recordings made by Hannah -- on whom Clay had a crush -- in which she explains the 13 reasons why she chose to commit suicide. If Clay decides to listen to the recordings, he will find out if and how he made the list. This intricate and heart-wrenching tale is told through Clay and Hannah's dual narratives.





And the movie trailer:




I am intrigued. And very interested in how they brought Jay Asher's book to life on the television screen. And beyond that, I am curious on how they presented the difficult issue of suicide. The book is based primarily on the topic.

This show has created an uproar...

Many experts are concerned and feel this program will result in suicide contagion. (Suicide contagion is the exposure to suicide or suicidal behaviors within one's family, one's peer group, or through media reports of suicide and can result in an increase in suicide and suicidal behaviors.) They feel it will cause vulnerable teens to end their lives. 

While many others are saying it will help start the ever-hard conversation of suicide and bring to the surface the tough issue of depression and bullying. 

Which side is right? Do we avoid these issues? Does making a TV show like this bring to light these types of concerns? Or does something like this make it worse?

I have never shied away from the tough issues. I think it is important to bring to light difficult situations and always feel that books, movies, and shows are a great way to start the conversation. I do know, however, that glorifying tough issues can and will result in a contagion. Should this stop us from seeing or letting our teens see this show? I have not yet seen this show. I can not speak to how this show may or may not glorify the topic of suicide. I do love the book and feel it is a great conversation starter. I strongly feel that a conversation must be had, regardless of how difficult it is for us. I think avoiding these issues will make it worse, not better. And maybe, just maybe a book or show like this will save a life, not destroy one. 


This is a very controversial issue, however. And one most people would prefer to avoid. 

What are your thoughts???  Would you let your teen see this show? How do you talk about tough issues with your teen or your friends?

Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.

Best, Becca


For more information here is a great article from CNN on the controversy http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/25/health/13-reasons-why-teen-suicide-debate-explainer/

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February is...Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month



Although we should be talking about this all year young...February is a good place to start.

It's teen dating violence awareness month. The statistics are overwhelming...1 in 3 teens are victims. And sometimes we have no idea how to talk about it. As adults, we need to spark a conversation. As a teen, we need to talk to others about what's right and wrong in our lives and relationships. And now's a good a time as any!

Start by talking about healthy relationships...Ask the question--What is a healthy relationship?

It can be hard to even answer that question, but this is a great place to start. Ask questions and determine what a healthy relationship means to you, to your teen, to your friends. Then build from there.

Throughout the month, I will be covering healthy relationships in more detail. We will talk about signs of an unhealthy relationship. I will share information on how to spot signs and how to get help.

Make sure you keep coming back throughout the month for fun facts, important information, and fun contests and give-a-ways!!!!


And while you are at it, join in and help raise awareness on this serious issue.


It's important to get involved. Join Loveisrespect.org throughout the month...


How Can You Get Involved? (From loveisrespect.org)

There are lots of ways you can join the conversation and help raise awareness about dating violence! Mark your calendars for our events:
  • Feb. 8: “Love is Respect, Online and Off!” Twitter chat at 6:30 p.m. CT. Cohosted by That’s Not Cool! Follow #teendvchat to join.
  • Feb. 13-17: Respect Week! Download our Respect Week Guide on the Teen DV Month page for event and activity ideas.
  • Feb. 14: On Valentine’s Day, we wear #orange4love! Let us know you’ll be wearing orange on our Facebook event page, and be sure to share your pics with us!
  • Feb. 15: ”Let’s Talk About Respect + Sex, Baby” Twitter chat at 7 p.m. CT. Follow #teendvchat to join.
  • Feb. 17: National Respect Announcement. Join our Thunderclap and help spread the message that everyone deserves a healthy relationship!
  • Feb. 23: Join our webinar, “Teens Helping Teens: Empowering Young People to Support Each Other” at 3:30 p.m. CT. During this webinar, aimed at adult allies (educators, parents, programs, organizations), we’ll be discussing tips and strategies for empowering young people to support one another. Register here!
 Hope to see you joining in!

Come back here for more information and fun give-a-ways throughout the month

Best,

Becca

Monday, January 16, 2017

Stalking Happens in Teens, Too


January is National Stalking Awareness Month. So let's take a moment and talk about stalking...





Facts- As many as 1 in 7 teens have been a stalking victim.  18-25 year olds experience the most amount of stalking than any other age group. Stalking is commonly done by someone the victim knows?


First off, what is stalking?

Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would put a reasonable person in fear.

Stalking can occur in person, at school, in public, and online.

You are being stalked if a person repeatedly watches you, follows you, harasses you, or makes you feel unsafe. A stalker can be someone you know such as a friend or an ex or current boy/girlfriend.

If you are being stalked get help. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger. Save all texts, posts and other evidence. Let others know, including an adult or teacher. Get professional help. Obtain a protection order.

For more information check out loveisrespect.org and http://stalkingawarenessmonth.org/about

Be safe!

Best,
Becca

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year, A New Road, and a Million Goals to Get There



Well, it's a new year. 

I hope to find new adventures down new roads. 

And I hope to reach new heights through new goals. 

I'm ready for a new start.

Cheers to what's to come.

And a big thank you to all that's been.

Here's to wishing you all good luck on your new adventures.

Best, Becca