Welcome to the Neighborhood News
Rebecca Cressman interviewed Greg Hudnall for today’s Personal Touch. Greg Hudnall is Director of Student Services for the Provo City School District. His professional passion is saving young lives by giving adolescents considering suicide the option of hope and healing from depression and mental illness. Greg helped found the community volunteer-based Hope Task Force for Suicide Prevention and now serves on the State of Utah Suicide Prevention Task Force. He is also the executive director for the State Crisis Team for schools, and is currently working on his doctorate dissertation, which is creating a K-12 suicide prevention manual for public schools.
As you may have guessed, we’re talking about teen suicide in today’s newsletter.
Are we as a society so far gone, so jaded and uncaring that we don’t see the suffering of others? Especially our teenagers, our future. I'm afraid we're building a society that teaches our children to only care about themselves. I've heard of children who've gone to school and have not been addressed in any way, by their peers or adults. They feel ostracized, alone, without friends. Would they not try to build walls then, just to not get hurt? I can see that there are few alternatives, and some of them include harm, to either oneself, or others.
The next entry is from Elder M. Russell Ballard, in his talk “Some Things We Know, and Some We Do Not.” He’d gone to the funeral of someone who’d committed suicide, and visited with the family. He said: “A comment by the youngest son captured the despair they all felt: “There is no hope for dad now, is there,” he said. It was more a statement than a question. “All the good things he did throughout his life don’t matter anymore. Now that he’s taken his life, he will be in the telestial kingdom throughout eternity.” Then he wept.
"The feelings expressed then by those family members are commonly felt by Latter-day Saints trying to cope with the suicide of a loved one or friend. The anguish and uncertainty they experience are extremely painful and difficult”. What should be comforting to all of us is to know that we won’t be the ones judging, and their fate is left to Jesus Christ to decide.
Our last entry is from John Dehlin, from “Mormon Stories Podcast”. John talks about suicide and depression in his article "Teen Suicide in Utah," and gives a lot of numbers and backs up his findings with good research. The numbers alone are overwhelming. We need to learn more about what makes someone go so low that their own lives are not important enough to save.
We would love to hear from you. Please write your thoughts in the comments section of the newsletter.
To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Wednesday, 12 May’s, please click here.