Teen suicides shock the community
In the past three weeks two young girls have taken their own lives and their deaths are a shock to the entire Porterville community.
Their deaths are not only mourned by everyone, but need to serve as a wake up call to the community and all parents to be aware of their children and look for any possible warning signs.
One suicide is one too many. Two in two weeks is alarming.
It is not as important as what may have led to these two tragic deaths as it is that they occurred. A first reaction is to ask why and look for a cause, but as a community we need to look inward. Are we doing enough to support our children? Do we offer enough resources where young people can get help quickly? Did bullying play a part?
It is not easy for a parent to see the warning signs. It is difficult for a parent to really comprehend that their child would do something like take their own life. But, parents need to take any such warning signs seriously. Experts tell us that one suicide can lead to more and unfortunately we have now had two.
We would encourage all parents of all children, but especially teenagers, to take the time immediately to have a chat with their son or daughter. Reassure them they are loved and that you care for them. Reassure them you will work with them on any problems they may have. Give them a hug. Tell them you love them.
We grieve for the families of these two young girls. Our hearts go out to them.
We are also concerned for our community. Such tragic occurrences in the matter of a few days should concern us all: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. If you have a friend even hinting of taking their own live, let someone know so intervention can prevent that from happening. That is being a true friend, and a friend for hopefully a long lifetime.