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The mission of chooselife.org is to END TEEN SUICIDE BY 2030: an immense goal.

While our goal may seem ambitious, we believe the time has come for bold statements and bold moves.

 
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 The mental health community has done a great job of raising awareness about suicide and teen suicide specifically. The challenge is that suicide is getting worse. If you ask people they will say, “yes, I am aware that suicide exists, tell me what to do about it.” We know it is time for us to take action and give people the tools to prevent suicide.

We believe that suicide should be approached like any other epidemic. Not just with the goal of reduction but with the goal of eradication. When the world decided that smallpox had to be eradicated, they were not satisfied with simply creating an awareness campaign. They completely eradicated the disease. When Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) decided to combat teen drunk driving their mission was not to build awareness around the issue. Their mission was to END TEENAGE DRUNK DRIVING. So far they have fallen short of this goal however they have decreased drunk driving by approximately 50% and have saved many lives.

ChooseLife.org hopes to be the spark that starts a revolution to END TEEN SUICIDE. To guide our work, we have built five equally important pillars to support improvements in the mental health of our children.

 
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Pillar 1: THE PARENTS

We are seeking to educate parents so that they understand that depression is a disease and not something a child can simply shake off.

Instead of thinking of depression as a rare mental disorder, we want parents to see it like the flu. Anyone can get it and at any time. Not only can anyone get it but it can have the same tragic results for our kids if left untreated.

Parents must be educated on the signs and symptoms of depression in their children. We need to give parents the right questions to ask and the best conversation starters to be able to talk with their kids while also removing the stigma of depression in families.

 
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Pillar 2: THE SCHOOLS & GOVERNMENT

We hope to partner with government agencies and our school districts to help them understand the severity of this epidemic and make ending teen suicide their number one priority.

We seek to inspire schools from elementary to college to take a leading role in educating parents and students about depression and suicide. National curriculums on depression must be created and taught in every school.

We want other state governments to model legislation similar to that of the California Assembly bill (No. 2639) to bring required suicide prevention curriculum to our school districts.

 
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Pillar 3: THE CHILDREN

We must erase the stigma in the minds of our youth by educating our kids so they understand mental illness is just like any other illness; it is nothing to be ashamed of and needs to be treated or it can lead to further declining health and even death.

We want teens to understand that it is normal to be sad; it’s not normal to always be sad or have thoughts of harming yourself. These are symptoms of an illness, just as sneezing and coughing can be symptoms of the flu.

Children need to learn how to be comfortable talking about how they truly feel with friends, teachers, parents, and medical professionals. We want the stigma to be completely erased in the minds of our kids.

 
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Pillar 4: THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY

New protocols for doctors across the USA must be created and followed regarding the evaluation of a child’s mental health. We need to better align pediatricians with mental health professionals so there are clear referral sources for doctors to send their patients to.

Referrals for mental health should be as simple as a referral for a tonsillectomy.

We must upgrade the training and education our mental health professionals receive for dealing with depression and teens. The best practices from around the world should become common practice. There are far too many therapists whose tool kits are not up to date.

 
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Pillar 5: SOCIAL MEDIA

We need to re-evaluate the harm that giving teenagers access to social media has on their developing brains. Research on social media and developing brains should be brought front and center.

We will talk to the world’s top experts around adolescent psychology and social media, asking if kids are spending too much time staring at small screens and if constantly viewing an alternate life on Facebook, Instagram, etc. can cause mental illness. The central question is what age should kids be allowed to have any social media account? We don’t let them drive until they are 16 or drink until 21. Is 13 the correct age for a Facebook account?

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CONCLUSION:

ChooseLife.org realizes this is a BIG VISION! This will require teams of the top minds from around the world and a whole lot of money to accomplish. If we want to END TEEN SUICIDE and not just raise awareness, this is how we do it.

The time has come for a bold new initiative and ChooseLife.org is leading the movement. We need a rallying cry from the whole nation. When we END TEEN SUICIDE, our children will grow up with a proper sense of their own mental health and understand how to support one another. Teen suicide will be a thing of the past by the end of 2030.

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Need Help?

CONTACT THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE:

PHONE: 1-800-273-8255

WEB: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

OR THE TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE:

1-800-TLC-TEEN (852-8336) between 6-10PM Pacific

Text TEEN to 839863 between 6-9PM Pacific