Lyndsay Winegarden is a disabled, single mother, who is the founder of Stop Teenage Suicide,
Lyndsay started to get involved with support groups on Facebook when her son started kindergarten. “I am unable to work with my disability and I really wanted to do something that could give back. I spent a lot of time on Facebook pages that helped others, and one day I got a message from a young transgender woman who was suicidal. I was struggling with what to tell her and how to help, I was terrified. At this point I knew I needed help so I sent a message to Wipe Out Homophobia on Facebook. It was my favorite page and I knew they could help me. They gave me some wonderful advice, and thankfully the young woman did not take her life.”
That led her to start Stop Teenage Suicide. Lyndsay is someone who had been bullied at school and suffered through it. She has experienced the stress and the depression that accompanies bullying first hand. She suffers with fibromyalgia – a condition that manifests itself with profound fatigue and pain – and yet maintains an active involvement helping others through the vehicle of Facebook.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds. In addition, for every suicide there are at least 20 attempted suicides. The damage within these individuals is endemic of modern society, and rather than casting them off, STOP Teenage Suicide, and groups like it, are extending a friendly arm to those who need it.
So, what can you do?
Join STOP Teenage Suicide in solidarity on the internet and become a member of their community by ‘liking’ their fan page.
If you know or suspect someone who is thinking about suicide, try to find them help or lend a helping hand by listening to them. Sometimes it is the simplest gestures that bring value and lets a person know you and others do care about them and the importance of their lives.
Despite some of the pervading myths about suicide in the media and elsewhere, suicide is a very real problem that cannot always be medicated away or skirted under the rug. Once we as a global society address the fact that people do commit suicide or have thoughts about suicide, then we can begin to mend the wounds and help those who have depressed or suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Need to talk? For Helpline Numbers Click On “Find A Helpline”.
Many people find that talking about their feelings can alleviate their distress. If you’re feeling in distress or suicidal now and need to talk to someone, people are ready to listen.
Call your local number or email if you prefer.