Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Story of Remarkable Strength, Courage, and Caring

If you look around our social landscape, you see a bleak picture painted by the brush of today's youth who see no other way out but suicide.

If you look around the world's leading social network, you see many pages by many people who are trying to make a difference by attempting to stem the tide of teen suicides.  Right there leading the charge is STOP Teenage Suicide.

The page's founder, Lyndsay Winegarden, has a remarkable story.  It's a story of strength, courage, perseverance, and caring.  Read it for yourself.  It's...well...what I just said.  And then some.

What she has created, STOP Teenage Suicide, has been a very effective tool.  She tells of how many young lives she saved just over the recently-passed holidays, alone.  The membership of the group is growing by the day as people from all around the world are finding out that it's a place for helping as well as being helped.  And, as she said in her own words, "if I can save even one life, it will all be worth it".  Indeed.  She's not just saving " life...", she's saving and helping many.

This is amazing considering where she's come from and everything she's had to deal with.  Her story, alone, should be enough to inspire any teen when they're in their darkest hour.  Enduring what Lyndsay's had to endure, even as she worked through a deep depression, and coming out stronger for it sends a very strong, crystal clear message of "yes, it really does get better".  People are now paying attention to what she has to say.  And, the timing for that couldn't be better as the battle to end teen suicide has never been more impassioned than today.

This business of trying to save lives is no easy task, by any stretch of the imagination.  By getting involved, we understand that we will be required, at some point, to make many sacrifices.  Sometimes, it's time consuming.  Sometimes, especially when the at-risk teen is on the other side of the world, it's hard to find the resources you need to keep that teen alive.  All of the time, it's emotionally draining.  There are many, many people giving their best effort to make a difference, trying to end teen suicides.  There are tireless people on countless pages and website.  There are bloggers.  You quickly come to understand that what you're doing is changing lives.  Right now, no one is doing that better than Lyndsay Winegarden and her creation, STOP Teenage Suicide.

Alex Frye, 13, Railroad Enthusiast...Bullycide Victim

He loved railroads.  He had a mindset that set him apart from kids his age.  Early morning January 1st, Alexander Frye committed suicide

According a family member, there were no indications that anything was troubling him.   He was ", caring, and perhaps the most mature 13 year old [anyone] had ever known."  According to another family member is "one hundred percent..." certain that his suicide "...was sparked by bullying".

Most astonishing to me was a quote from a suicide prevention team leader for the Wyoming Department of Health.  "It is rare for someone so young to take his own life."


We're 5 days into the new year, and I've already reported 2 teen suicides.  Chances are there are a couple more that didn't get publicized.  As I told a mourner of the young Staten Island girl who committed suicide, things won't change until people stop talking about "how bad" or "how sad" it is and start actually getting involved. 

Alex was a brilliant young man.  He had a passion for trains.  He befriended adults much easier than kids his age.  Smart.  Intelligent.  Caring.  And now, another victim of bullycide.  This HAS to end.

Rest in Peace, Alex Frye.