Wednesday, December 28, 2011

By a Thin Thread

I was talking to a friend last night.  In fact, she is a very dear friend whom I met since embarking on this life's journey of trying to save lives.  She's right there on the frontline with me...and, many others.  Last night's conversation was sparked by a young man who was posting suicidal comments to his facebook page.  He's fine.  At least for now.  As she was about to sign off, she told me about another person who was now posting suicidal comments.  This one seemed urgent.

Joshua hasn't been a teenager since 1999.  Then again, we're not JUST about trying to save teen's lives.  Any suicide we can help prevent is a job well done.  I don't know the circumstances that has led Joshua to feel so hopeless right now. And, frankly, it just doesn't even matter.  What matters right now is building a wall of support around him to keep him from falling to that place where he won't be able to get up.  The wall was erected very quickly.

According to his facebook comments, Joshua was hanging on by the thinnest of threads.  Whatever is going on with him has really hit him hard.  The good news is he's still here.  He went to work today.  He's now home from work and communicating on his facebook page.

See, I don't believe for a second that Joshua wants to die.  I don't think that any suicide victims REALLY want to die.  They want the pain to stop.  They want to feel whole again.  I believe that's the case with Joshua, as well.  The great think here is that he is freely accepting friend requests on his facebook page right now!  That says to me that he WANTS someone to hold him up until he regains his strength.  And, that's where we all come in.  That's what our mission is, right?  Saving at a time?  You can go, right now!, to Joshua's facebook page, send him a friend request, he'll accept it.  I guarantee it.  Right now, he's hanging on by a thin thread.  What's most important, however, is that he's hanging on.

Fed Up People Are Making a Difference!!!!

Tennessee awarded the family of a special needs student who had been severely bullied over $300,000.  And, even though Maryland dropped the ball when they had a chance to send a clear "ZERO TOLERANCE" message when they released the school administrators of responsibility in a similar suit, other states are making great progress in toughening their anti-bullying laws.  That's great news going forward.

The recent suicide of Jacob Rogers, also in Tennessee, has sparked town hall meetings to push their lawmakers to toughen their laws.  Also, over 1,700 people have signed an online petition to force their local government to toughen its laws.  That's taking action!!!!  Hopefully, every time we see one of these petitions, everyone will sign it.  You don't have to live in Cheatham County.  You only have to have a burning desire to see things change.  That said, here's the link again.

In Iowa, a group called the Eychaner Foundation has launched an anti-bullying website for the state of Iowa.  All incidences of bullying can be reported here, with the information sent to school administrators.  Anyone can report an incident as it's occurring.  That's a great tool.  At the very least, it's a huge step in the right direction.  Now, we need to see a similar website for every state.

One thing we know for certain:  If nothing changes, nothing changes.  I think we're beginning to see changes.  It's a welcomed sight.