Saturday, June 06, 2020

Dropping like flies

While my sister believes in a great state education for all funded by the taxpayer, her daughter attends a non religious private school and Sister teaches at a private religious school. Perhaps a case of do as I say, not as I do.

For the past twenty years there has not been a suicide by a student at Sister's school, then in the last 12 months, three boys have committed suicide, the last I learnt about on Sunday. I think he was fourteen and a year seven student but she teaches older boys, so not one of her students.

Of course I asked Sister why. She did not know. Sexuality issues I asked? No, she said. I am not sure why she can be so sure.

The year seven boys were called back to school on the Monday even though they were still supposed to be home learning, to be officially informed and receive counselling or just a chat if required. Casual chats can go a long way where official counselling might not reach.

Meanwhile Elephant's Child probably does save lives, actually I know she does because I asked her. She saves lives at her Life Line volunteer job. She helps people. She makes a difference in the world.

Meanwhile in Oregon, Strayer does wonderful things for stray and non desexed cats and kittens, often without homes. It is not an easy volunteer thing she does. I donate a small amount each month to her cat charity fund raiser. Think about doing the same. Strayer is an honest and hard working person who makes a huge impact on stray and non desexed cats.

Former blog mate and now friend Victor volunteered as a visitor at a nursing home and also was also  meet and greet helpful person at a major Sydney hospital until suspended because of his age, as R was also from his volunteer work where he also makes a difference to people.

Our building neighbour has volunteered for 25 years as a tourist information person. She too has been put off duties because firstly of her age and of course there aren't tourists anyway..

Our Friend in Japan does volunteer work.

Which does remind me that I did once volunteer to teach English to immigrants, and I did, so maybe I made a small difference so many years ago.

While I have tried a bit at times including a bit of foot work and more recently from the comfort of my desktop chair, I've never changed the world like the aforesaid to be a better place in a practical manner and it seems unlikely I will.

Those poor teenage boys who killed themselves. What a waste and tragedy. Is there something wrong with society that led them to such extreme action?

Well, that  is a bit of a downer. Hopefully something a bit brighter tomorrow.

32 comments:

  1. Sadly suicide is the leading cause of death for people under 44 in our society. Teenagers are disproportionally represented there.
    Thank you for the heads up. I am one of many.
    And thank you for acknowledging Strayer's work too. She does an amazing job with extremely limited resources - and today's post mentions another obstacle thrown in her way.
    How I wish volunteers were'nt necessary. But they are in so many important fields.

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    1. EC, usually I would agree that it would better if professionals did the job, but in the case of what you do, I am not so sure. Strayer is amazing in what she achieves at personal expense.

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    2. EC and Andrew, you are both so good to me. Thanks to both of you. It makes me feel warm that down in Australia I have two friends I've never met in person who are so kind.

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    3. Strayer, it is your character that makes us care about what you do in such a far away place. I could care about starving dogs or starving children.

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  2. Our grandson could have been a statistic. He has autism. He doesn't "look autistic," so that compounds the problem, because he has difficulty reading facial expressions and non-verbal signals. He was bullied all through school. In elementary school, he was told by teachers on the playground to sort it out himself, as if he was in any way capable of doing that.

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    1. Cynthia, I have a little experience with autism through a friend and my partner's former job. It is hard for other children understand how another marches to the beat of a different drum. There has been some pretty good things that have happened about bullying at school here, but it will always happen. I am pleased your grandson survived it.

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  3. Sadness lurks silently in every corner; darkness in the soul is a heavy, relentless burden on many. Sorrow eats away like acid...and, in most cases, all are invisible to others.

    Kindness towards others, understanding and awareness must always be part of our lives...we must keep our heart, our mind, and our eyes open to the problems of others are suffering.

    There are good people in this world...quietly doing good things for others...and we must never lose sight of that fact.

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    1. Lee, kindness and counselling can help immensely, but some just seem to get beyond the point of help or no one is aware of their troubled minds. At times an attempt can be a cry for help, but so often a cry for help is never made. The stats of the suicide rate per capita compared to say in the late 60s would be interesting to look at.

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    2. https://lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/about-suicide/suicide-data/suicide-facts-and-stats

      https://www.mja.com.au/journal/1999/171/3/australian-suicide-trends-1964-1997-youth-and-beyond

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    3. Very interesting Lee. Thanks. It is kind of what I thought in general but I am surprised at the much higher the rate is for NSW.

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    4. And of course the suicide rates are often under-reported - for a variety of reasons.

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  4. All suicides are sad, but young people is even sadder. Usually there is no indication of why, unless the obvious signs of abuse or addiction are present. It's so hard to get into teenage minds. I hope answers can be found.

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    1. River, teenage boys are the hardest to get to. Teenage girls will wear their hearts more on their sleeves than boys.

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  5. Many of these suicides are due to bullying, either in the face or subtly through social media, it is a terrible thing and recently a 14 yo girl I know suicided even when her parents switched schools for her and moved, she was bullied at the new school.
    I do my best in volunteering mainly with addicts and seniors. I did work with the homeless in a now defunct organization called Labour Link and also with battered women way back in the day. I think we all do our bit and I know most bloggers do multiple acts of quiet kindness.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, my apologies. You should have received a mention too for the works you have done and still do. I didn't know about the addicts.

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  6. When my uncle retired from the paid workforce, he joined Meals on Wheels as a volunteer. Not only did the service provide good food to elderly people who would not have cooked for themselves; he spent time chatting to lonely people who looked forward to his company.

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    1. Hels, I think now it is all done by professional organisations and there is no room for volunteers. They don't always have time to chat no matter how beneficial it may be to the person who receives the meal.

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    2. Our local Meals on Wheels is still done by volunteers. Maybe it depends on the place.

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  7. In my teaching days I always befriended any child who looked a bit down. I tried to make them feel important, and got them to help me with simple tasks. I hope it made them feel better about themselves. Such occasions were very rare.

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    1. Cro, that's such a good thing to do. It is good for children to have a teacher they feel comfortable with.

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    2. Sadly, these days a teacher singling out a child would come under pedophile suspicion, which makes it even harder on kids who really need someone to help.

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  8. We had had a few suicides in the family not sure of the reasons as they are in the distance family and people don't like to talk about it so can offer no advice but to tell people you are here if they want company and to talk.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merle, I'd like to think talking could help all potential suicided minded people, but we know it doesn't.

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  9. Suicide is such a sad thing for everyone left behind wondering why. Depression is an awful illness and needs to be understood by so many more people so we can see when someone needs help. I'm sure you've made a difference to someone in this world starting with R and your mum.

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    1. Diane, they must be the worst, the ones out of the blue when no one knew how someone was suffering alone. Thanks for your kind words.

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  10. The death of child, impacts a family tremendously, a suicide even more so. 45 years later I can still see the impact on a classmate whose slightly older brother was so afraid of rejection that he shot himself.

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    1. Travel, reading between the lines, I think that happened often. Well, I know it did here.

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  11. I'm so sorry to hear about the suicides. Such a shame.
    Thank goodness for those that commit to others. I'm in awe of EC's dedication. And good on you for teaching English to immigrants.

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  12. Thank goodness for all volunteers, those who do a lot and those who do a little.

    I used to canvass for several charities and volunteer in school-related areas when our kids were at home, but I don't have the oomph now. I've spent the years since 2002 looking after, first, our daughter (with a serious chronic illness), then my father (he was in a nursing home but I visited most days for eight years as well as buying his clothing, gifts he wanted to give, his finances, etc.), and for the last seven years, my mother, who is rather high maintenance although she lives on her own. I feel completely wrung out. It's hard to give back when you are exhausted, but I know others do it. I wish I could.

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    1. There you go Jenny. You have done your bit and continue to do so by helping your mother to stay out of care.

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  13. Oh that is tragic Andrew, as you say what could possibly have been so bad that they would take their own lives. Breaks my heart to think of young people feeling so desolate, they would do this ✨

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