Text Illustrations
DEPRESSION: "I NEED HELP."


Dear Sir, Hi. My name is Carole. I am seventeen years old and a senior in high school. And I want to die.


My name is Brandy. I’m 13 years old and I’ve tried to kill myself six times. I had some problems with my mom and I felt I couldn’t live anymore.


I don’t know what to do anymore. My life has been a nightmare. I’ve lived all my life without love. I hurt everybody around me. I’ve come to the end of the line. I can’t go on anymore. I’ve ruined enough lives. I don’t have anywhere else to go. I hurt so much. I can’t stand it anymore. "Bobby"


I don’t want to die but it’s like the only thing I feel will work. I have so much pressure at home and school. I have so much pressure with friends. No one expects me to have problems because I am always happy. But I’m also hurting inside. I hate my life. I think about suicide. I just know tomorrow brings more pain. Sometimes there is so much hurt I can’t stand it. Why do I feel like my problems are worthless but worth dying for? Signed, "On the Edge"


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Lori was 14 years old when she was baptized at Blue Springs Community Church, a one-room country church only a few miles from her house. A few months later, Lori dropped out of the church. The pastor and his wife visited her several times, but failed to persuade Lori to return to church. Everyone was concerned for her, but no one suspected the real reason for her absence. Lori was pregnant. About a month before she was expected to deliver, Lori tidied her room, emptied her school locker, and wrote a note to her mother:


"You kept asking me if I was OK and I kept telling you I was, but I wasn’t OK. I’m sorry, Mom. I’ve got too many problems. I am taking the easy way out."


Lori left that day before her mother arrived home from work. She walked to the railroad tracks near her house, knelt between the rails, and folded her hands over her little round belly as Amtrak 168 barreled down upon her. The train engineer, a man who had a fourteen-year-old daughter of his own, later said that when he saw Lori, it was too late to stop the train. He watched her cross herself before she died.


----


People everyday considers "ending it all." In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eighteen teenagers per day kill themselves in the United States. Every 80 minutes another teenager commits suicide. Over a hundred teens per week, and the total comes to a staggering 6,500 lives lost. Not only that, but over 1,000 teens per day attempt to take their own lives. That’s almost one teen per minute. 73 percent of kids admit having thought about suicide. How many of you in here know someone who has talked about or attempted or commited suicide? The statistics show that at least 90 percent of you know someone who has attempted it.


Every suicide or suicide attempt screams these three words... "I NEED HELP."

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