Thursday, May 23, 2013
Understanding How Attempted Suicide Affects Teens, Communities
David Clark grew up in a family where suicidal thoughts were common and believes the solution to suicide prevention lies within all of us.
In 2009, 140 Alaskans committed suicide, according to the Alaska Statewide Suicide Prevention Council.
It’s a staggering number that affects hundreds of families across the state, and it can even be more challenging for teens to find somebody to talk to about suicide or attempted suicide within their families.
David Clark, 16, is just one of many Alaskan teens learning to cope with the effects of attempted suicide.
“It’s like a missing finger; feels like you can’t work without it,” said Clark, whose brother attempted suicide earlier this year.
“They were able to bring him back. I’m very thankful that they were able to do that,” he said.
He says he grew up in a family where suicidal thoughts were common and believes the solution to suicide prevention from happening lies within all of us.
“We all have to work together as a team. It’s not something that one person can do alone,” he said.
Irene Bedard, a suicide prevention advocate with Southcentral Foundation says it’s about finding a connection in the community.
“A lot of our contemporary culture today has lost a lot of that; television, stories, a lot of ways it is disconnecting,” said Bedard.
Clark was able to find a place to connect at Southcentral Foundation in a program called Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, or ASIST.
“It’s definitely a way to cope,” he said, that made him feel “stronger and more stoic.”
Ultimately, he wants others to know that there’s a lot to live for.