I love psychology. It was one of the few fields I contemplated as a teenager.
When my teenager told me one of her friends was talking about suicide it reminded me of my own high school years and a boy I knew who tried to commit suicide and ended up at a mental health facility. I think when kids found out it was even harder for him to feel like he had a place in society. It was almost as if his failed attempt was marking him as a failure in general. It brought back all those feelings of helplessness as I tried to be there for him, even though at the time I had not yet come to understand his desperation.
I called the local high school and asked if they have any peer to peer counseling groups. This boy doesn’t have it easy. His parents are out of the picture. His guardian is unable to provide the support he needs emotionally. He is struggling deeply and I know from experience that when you surround yourself with people going through what you’re going through it can help tremendously.
Now the counselor I spoke to was very concerned but she also handles 3 grade levels of kids. She is busy to say the least. The school should have a single dedicated mental health professional on top of general, all-purpose counselors. Teenagers need a lot more support than we offer them. I feel we do such a huge disservice to them. They are so anxious to be part of the world and make a mark and begin their lives and we put them on stand-by as if some arbitrary age makes the difference.
It doesn’t. These teenagers have more power and intelligence, resolve and gumption than we give them credit for. Yet they are stuck in some strange vortex of allowing them their voice, as if society could really control them. They are probably our only true hope for a new beginning in this world.
All I know is we do them a huge disservice by choosing to ignore them until they can be of the age to “contribute and make a difference” in the world. Because voting and working make a person a person? Ugghhhh.
I have a love/hate relationship with this world. I suppose I should settle for acceptance. That at least provides me with my own comfort.
And as for the boy he is getting some mental health help. I just wonder about it’s effectiveness. In my opinion it seems to be null and void. From what I’ve seen of mental health only a few modalities actually offer true benefit. EMDR, Emotional Based Therapy, Hypnosis, and a few others. The rest are just flapping your jaw hoping something shifts. You’d be probably better off with an emotional therapy animal frankly.
But so much in life, so many times I feel like a helpless bystander to life’s atrocities. That’s why I do what I do when I can. It’s my way of saying “fuck you” to life’s unfairness. “Not on my watch” dammit. Not on my watch.