| Peter Cook
Largest Heart to make a difference
Can a 501c3 non-profit organization make a difference in the world? At Largest Heart, we believe it is a matter of perception. Mother Theresa once said that even if just one person is saved (from addiction, suicide, a life of poverty, etc.), all of the efforts would have been worth it.
Suicide – an epidemic in our times
In an average classroom, you can be sure that at least one student has already attempted suicide. It is scary and very real.
What causes suicidal thoughts?
There are no real answers to this question. There is also not only one cause. Many factors can be involved in a person's decision.
A typical student with suicidal thoughts is suffering and in tremendous emotional pain.
Suicide is not caused by mental illness. After all, the mentally ill do not all attempt to end their lives.
No, someone who considers suicide feels hopelessness and despair that has no end. For that person, death is the only way out.
How to spot someone who considers suicide
It is not clear cut
The transition from child to adulthood is not smooth. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between depression and normal teen moodiness.
Worse of all and making things more complicated: suicidal students sometimes do not appear sad. They also don't always withdraw from others. Some of them might look irritable, stressed, or even aggressive.
It is up to us
Teachers, friends, and family are in an excellent position to help students and prevent suicides. It is up to all of us to recognize the warning signs.
Some warning signs
A recent disappointment
For some teenagers or students, a recent disappointment like not making a school sports team might be devastating.
If someone you love has recently experienced a big disappointment such as this or was rejected in love, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the person for a while.
Not everybody knows how to cope with life's curveballs. At the moment, the problem might seem massive, and as something that can never be overcome.
You’ll see changes
Some other warning signs might be more visible: you’ll see academic performance declining, a sudden change in friends, the person talking, writing and drawing about self-harm, and changes in appearance.
The person might be visiting, calling, or texting people to say goodbye. This must always be taken very seriously!
Some other warning signs might be:
• The person researching ways to die and buying a gun, ropes, pills or knives
• Increased substance abuse
• Excessive or dangerous risk-taking
Will it help?
Warning signs can come in many forms. It may be that they are not easily detectable.
All that we can do is try our best to tune in to the students in our care, whether you might be a teacher, educator, parent, or friend.
Sometimes it is a kind word, or a hand on a shoulder, that might dispel with suicidal thoughts. You'd never know.
Our mission at Largest Heart is to help others, whether it’s sending someone to treatment to get the tools, resources and help. Or giving to other non-profits and those doing the best work. Our focus is on addiction and suicide prevention, but our mission is to spread hope, love and knowledge.
Join us in making a difference because it is actually you - making the difference, not us. You’re the Largest Heart!
The horror of suicide cannot be measured. Donate today, so that we can try to make a difference. Even if one person is saved, it will be worth it.