Estonian mother addresses child suicide

Few know that depression in children can develop so quickly that their loved ones may not notice the signs until there's a suicide attempt. One mother is trying to help families see the warning signs before it's too late.

Marta Tuul
Marta Tuul Eesti Ekspress, Estonia
Source: Eesti Ekspress
Estonian mother addresses child suicide - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

Karl -- not his real name -- is thirteen years old and has already tried to kill himself twice.

His mother decided to speak to journalists so that other parents would become aware of the issue and not underestimate the danger of depression in children. 

With the World Health Organization having already declared depression the leading cause of disability worldwide, most people are familiar of its dangers.

But Karl's mother argues that too few people understand how the disease develops in children, and how misleading its symptoms can be.

Her experience has led her to believe that support groups for parents could provide valuable psychological support and guidance through shared experiences, but at the moment no such groups exist in Estonia.

Most importantly, Karl's story should dispel the mistaken belief that only children from troubled families struggle with mental illness. Like in adults, depression in children strikes regardless of social status and environment -- and, like in adults, it's increasingly frequent and deadly.

family,youth,mental health

13-year old has tried to kill himself twice

  • A mother has decided to share the story of her son's two suicide attempts to help children and their families recognize the signs.
  • She said it only took a couple of months for her 13-year-old son's depression to develop into fatal thoughts.
  • His first suicide attempt was when he swallowed sleeping pills from his grandmother's medicine.
  • He got psychiatric treatment and seemed better, but he soon plunged into depression again.
  • The boy told his parents that he had stood at the edge of a bridge and wanted to jump, saying nobody cared about him and that his death would not matter. His friends convinced him not to jump.
  • The boy was put on a three month waiting list for cognitive-behavioral therapy. While he waited he began cutting himself.
  • The family continues to fear for his life.
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