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The Professional Help needed by this young Lad, is way beyond what most of us are able to provide.

We do need to be very aware that suicide in youth in their teens is at epidemic levels and ranks in the top five causes of death in this age group.

The reasons why teens are harming themselves are very varied.

It might well be the change in how things are at home? But then again it might be a lot of other things:

The drop in grades? Some kids see this as them failing and attach a lot of shame to this.

Maybe there is some kind of bullying going on at school or even at Scouts?

Maybe he has broken up with a girl friend?

The truth is that we don't know and in some cases might never know.

We do know that people who have attempted to harm themselves once do tend to try again.

Many times the person is not really trying to kill themselves but are calling out for some kind of attention.

Still all talk of harming or killing themselves does need to be taken seriously.

I teach a class for correctional staff in recognizing the signs of suicide in correctional settings.

Number one on the list is listening to what people are saying and reporting what they have said.

That is when someone says that they are thinking of harming or killing themselves that we don't ignore it. We take the next step.

In this case I would think reporting to the boys mother what has been said would be my first step.

Having an adult who the Lad can trust and talk with would also be very important.

Keeping an eye on the Lad, looking for changes in mood can also be very important.

Any big change can be a tell tale sign.

Sometimes people who are thinking of killing themselves, will become very happy!! They come up with the idea that they have decided what needs to be done and are at some kind of peace with themselves.

Very often someone who has failed once will make very detailed plans to ensure that they don't fail again.

Sadly a lot of web sites are out there giving very detailed plans.

The Lads parents might want to keep an eye on what web sites he is visiting.

In the Troop, I think before the Lad returns an adult that is close to the Lad needs to sit down and have an open and honest talk with him. Telling him that what he tried to do is known. (Don't try and pretend it never happened.) Make the Lad know that the adult is there for him and really does care for him and will be there for him. Also let him know that this person will be keeping a special eye on him.

This adult needs to be a very good listener and not the sort who has to have the last word or is very judgmental.

Very often adults fail to see the world as teenagers do. Thing that we see as being no big deal, can be a very big deal to a teenager.

A very good friend of mine had a son take his own life after he broke up with a girl that he'd only been going out with for a couple of months.

Most of all it is important that we allow the professionals who deal with this kind of situation do what they do best.

We need not to tell the Lad what he did was dumb or judge him.

I'm sure that at the time he had his own reasons for doing what he did.

Pointing fingers at other family members,when they very well might be blameless is just silly.

It might be that the Lad is not ready to return to Scouts?

For the good of the other Troop members, it is worth talking with his parents and making sure that he is and that the professionals he is working with are OK with him returning.



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"I also advised having a steady buddy or buddies to keep an eye out on trips. That's kinda of a challenge in my opinion as the troop is a young troop with most only one scout over 13."


Buddies are fine, but be very careful that you're not putting the responsibility for keeping an eye on this Scout on one or more of his fellow Scouts. That's far too big a burden for one young man to handle. If something else were to happen, the blame his buddy would feel would be horrendous.


That said, his friends are more likely to be the first to know about how he's feeling and any actions he might take. Be sure they know that they can and should come to an adult ASAP, taking each and every instance very seriously.


It's a very delicate line to walk, and you've gotten some great advice here.

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I think after reading the posts and sugestions here:


It is apparent that scouting is the world to this young man. It sounds like he is every scoutmaster dream to have a boy that is this dedicated.


OF course there seems like there are some things that need to be resolved at home. Maybe talk with the lad about things that are going on at home. YOu don't know and maybe he has been put aside for the younger child.


Talk with this young lad and tell him that there is always someone there to help with his school work, and that school is just as important as scouting.


Let him start working on being a mentor again. THis young lad obviously likes that part of scouting. Maybe make him an insturctor for the younger scouts.


I guess I may be rambling at this point, but mostly he needs to be told that he is welcome in the troop and that he needs to keep his grades up. If he can do both then it will show that he is just that much better a person.

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I offer the following as general advice from a person who does crisis counseling as a living. I have never met this lad. I will not offer any opinions on what happened or why he did this. I will not venture an opinion of his family life, personal life, etc. If I had met this lad, I would be precluded from talking about it anyway. I will only say that the following comes from experience. Too often, good intentions can make matters worse. The hardest part sometimes to deal with is trying to undo the damage folks with good intentions do unintentionally between sessions.


DO NOT tell anyone and do not discuss this with anyone the Scout or his family has not already spoken with about this issue. Not only is it a privacy issue - you may inadvertently tell someone the Lad didn't really want to have know and make things worse for him.


DO NOT be judgmental.


DO NOT treat him any differently now (either better or worse) than you already were treating him. Don't start treating him as fragile or damaged. Don't hover. Don't change the nature of your relationship. If you were gruff, stay gruff. If you were nice, stay nice. Your stability is needed.


DO NOT treat him any differently than any of the other lads in the Troop at his level (example - not letting him use a knife to prepare food for cooking if everyone else can do so - or not letting him use the Axe Yard (if he has Totin Chip) when everyone else with Totin Chip can use it).


DO NOT give him, or his family, any advice (including a suggestion that he get counseling) unless THEY ask.


DO NOT try to counsel him yourself.


DO NOT try to interfere with the family life.


DO NOT start to delve into his personal life - unless HE wants to talk to you about it.


DO NOT insist that he, or his family, follow some kind of rules (like getting counseling, etc.) that the Unit makes up for his continued participation.


DO be supportive, and let him know you are there to talk to if he wants - then don't push to make him talk. If he wants to talk, he'll let you know.


DO keep the SAME quiet eye out for him as you do all your other Scouts. (This is part of not treating him any differently).


DO understand for your own benefit that you cannot be everywhere and that if he does attempt suicide again, even if under the Unit's watch - it is NOT your fault - and nothing you could have done would prevent it (no "if only I" remonstrations allowed).





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Lisabob writes:


"No, based on practically no information, you instead decide to blame the mother for all of this. Sheesh. You should be ashamed."


You don't seem to have a problem with anyone who else who offered advice based on practically no information.


Blame and shame is your problem, it says more about you than it does about us. This is not a matter of "if we know who to blame then the matter is settled." I called to head-off the controlling mommy problem, it is you who calls for passive understanding.


"Just knowing that there are people who care" is NOT enough if his mother yanks it all away again. He ALREADY knew who in his life cares about him when he called his Scoutmaster minutes before slashing his wrists.


This woman figured out what her son loved most in the world and she took it away from him. Maybe she is just one of those poor misunderstood victims of postpartum depression, but if Eagle92's friend does not address the mommy factor and she again cuts him off from Scouting, then NO Scouting-based advice will mean anything, now will it Lisabob?


Sucking up to her with all that indoor classroom Scouting stuff is a start. Lord knows there is more school than Outing in Scouting.


It might make her "feel good" about Scouting but just between us here, it is pure crap. If all the attention helps him improve his grades then fine, but what if it doesn't? Scouting was designed to be the opposite of school because most boys hate sitting through lectures. This Scout sounds like he might be one of those boys.


They need a "Mommy Plan B."


Maybe just something as simple as stroking her ego 3, 6, and 9 months down the line, eh?


I can't help with that but I can tell you that what Scouting has to offer is adventure, which has nothing to do with "Scholarship MB" and "Reading MB."


Since everyone else has all that "feelings" stuff covered, I would figure out what hard physical activities this Scout likes and do more of that. Chances are some of the other Scouts like that too.


Most importantly, rather than figuring out what the Troop can do for this Scout, the Troop should figure out what the Scout can do for the Troop.


He is one of the oldest Scouts in the Troop, a role model, and one of their best leaders. Gifted leaders like to play hard and lead. Don't stick him with a stupid "POR" about books or tents.


It sounds like this Troop has "regular elections" which means that some of the Patrol Leaders are fake. That translates to an opportunity for this Scout to provide real outdoor leadership somewhere. Depending on his skills and all of the personalities involved, if the only PORs available now are "librarian" and "quartermaster," I would just make something up, like a "Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project" as outdoor trip master in charge of whatever he does best: Planning and then coordinating some backpacking and canoe trips maybe.


Turning a gifted leader into a librarian is criminal.


Fix that.




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Kudu, you don't know the situation on the ground at all, beyond what the original post contains, and even that is hearsay (the poster was looking for info for a friend about a boy in the friend's troop - no indication that the poster has ever even met this boy - he may be passing along what he heard from the troop leader, accurately or not, and that troop leader's perceptions may be accurate, or not). Your assumptions could be right on or they could be totally wrong. I do consider them to be arrogant and irresponsible. I don't expect you'll agree, and I don't care whether you do, either. I just hope that others will think carefully before leaping to the conclusions you seem to have reached. That's all I have to say to you on this topic.



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Yah, Kudu's delivery is always a bit off, but there's some wisdom there, eh? Get the boy doin' what he does best in the troop. That's where self-worth and efficacy and a sense of personal control come from, eh? What we do best.


1) While the scout said it would be OK to tell everyone, the leaders thought it best that if he wants people to know, then he tell them. It's a privacy issue with the leaders.


Bad call, IMO. The lad said "tell", so tell. Don't pussy-foot around. Far better that the rest of the gang learns from the adults under controlled circumstances with support available than if they hear on their own, and far better for the boy if yeh quash all the rumors at once rather than havin' him confronted with this piecemeal for the next two years.


2) The scout was a patrol leader in the troop. Since he was inactive the APL took over and I believe new elections occurred while he was gone.


Find the boy a real leadership role like Kudu suggests.


Especially since the troop does alot of work with wood tools and conservation work at one of the local parks. That was a big concern with the SM


Tell the SM that is not a concern at all. There is probably zero risk that the lad is going to behave suicidally on scout trips, and certainly not around other boys. Scouting is his haven, eh? Follow Calico's advice. Treat him just like the other lads.


4) I advised a Sm conference with the scout (and a meeting with the mom & stepdad).


Yah, maybe, but tread very carefully. The SM conference should be to welcome the boy back and say how yeh care about him, nothin' more. The meetin' with the parents should be so that you're aware of medications and counseling, and probably little more than that.


5) I sadvised the SM to challenge the boy academically by earning Scholarship MB, and see if scouts form the troop can help him out. this would help him out in school and in Scouting.


NO!!! No no no! The last thing the lad needs is his scoutmaster naggin' him about his schoolwork (which in the boy's eyes means that the SM thinks less of him). Absolutely da wrong thing to do.


The schoolwork issue is almost certainly a product of the issues which led to the attempt, eh? If yeh provide a safe place for him to grow and the other issues get fixed or he learns how to control 'em, the school stuff will take care of itself.


6) I also advised having a steady buddy or buddies to keep an eye out on trips. That's kinda of a challenge in my opinion as the troop is a young troop with most only one scout over 13. The scout in question WAS one of the role models for the rest.


They will without you sayin' it, but I wouldn't do any explicit buddy thing that singles the boy out. And get away from "was." The boy IS one of the role models for the rest.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Lisabob writes:


"Your assumptions could be right on or they could be totally wrong. I do consider them to be arrogant and irresponsible."


Personal attacks are always based on projecting onto someone else the qualities that you secretly fear about yourself. Based on your rash of "you don't know the situation on the ground at all" and "accurately or not, and that troop leader's perceptions may be accurate, or not" stuff, my guess is that you are currently having problems coming to terms with the fact that in life we can never fully understand anything, anyone, or any situation: We ALL look through a glass darkly.


Given that universal existential dilemma, my advise is still:


1) Pay attention to the mommy problem


2) Concentrate on OLD-SCHOOL Scouting: Find out what he likes to play and Play It Hard! He needs endorphin sweat dripping off his face, not schoolwork Merit Badges.


3) If this Scout is a gifted natural leader and role model, appoint him to a REAL outdoor leadership position STASAP (SOONER Than As Soon As Possible). Don't rely on the SPL.




(This message has been edited by kudu)

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In reference to the troop and scouting activities, the troop is small, growing from 9 members in october to approx 16 now, with a lot more growth expected b/c their feeder pack is huge. They go camping at least once a month, and they have been creating a troop campsite at a local park, reminding me how my Finnish friends do their camping. Leaders are getting the troop completely boy led. They are growing by leaps and bounds because they are active campers and do their scout craft. To be honest I hope that my sons like the pack and troop as both remind me of the units I grew up in. While other troops in town are larger and do big activities, I really think that this troop has its act together.


I know scholarship and reading are what my old troop would call "paper pushing" merit badges. My purpose in recommending the MB was to 1)let the scout know that scholarship IS just as important as scoutcraft 2)let mom know Scouting has her son's best interest, and 3) give her son a goal that combines both Scouting and school. For the straight A student, the MB was a cakewalk, but for those having problems in school, that MB is a challenge.


From the limited contact I've had with this scout, seeing him at district functions and when I visit the unit, he reminds me of myslef at that age. I know that I had a problem with swimming. When my mom said the only way I could continue in Scouting was to learn how to swim because I would miss out on many scout activities, I saw it as a challenge to learn how to swim. I thought that by incorporating the book stuff into the outdoor stuff, it would motivate him. But every perosn is different


Again everyone thanks for the advice, and please keep the young man in your prayers.

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Good "amateur" advice ( in the good sense) from all involved except from Calico Penn who is a pro in this area and has very appropriately refrained from giving specific advice.


I might suggest finding out if your council has a meaningful Health and Safety Committee and, if so, finding out if they have a psychologist/psychiatrist as a member or on call. This could give you some local professional guidance.


Rick (Kudu), I know that we have on occasion had significant disagreements on the best approach for Scouting and the best alternatives. I have tremendous respect for what you accomplish in your unit, in recruiting, etc. I would respectfully say here that this is not the time nor the appropriate venue to push aggressively what you believe is the best way to aid youth in the context of Scouting. Perhaps "hard" outdoor old school Scouting will be the very best thing for this boy. Perhaps the Scholarship merit badge approach is the best thing. Perhaps either will work or perhaps neither. But I would not pretend to be able to say from a few paragraphs on a message board. That judgement needs to be made by the people on the spot hopefully with professional guidance.


And as Russ (Calico Penn) has said, "DO understand for your own benefit that you cannot be everywhere and that if he does attempt suicide again, even if under the Unit's watch - it is NOT your fault - and nothing you could have done would prevent it (no "if only I" remonstrations allowed). " In a case like this, you do your best and there is a substantial chance that the results will not be happy. This is, if you will, emotional and psychological CPR and just like cardiac CPR, it doesn't always work.

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NeilLup writes:


"I would respectfully say here that this is not the time nor the appropriate venue to push aggressively what you believe is the best way to aid youth in the context of Scouting."


I said to find out what he LIKES to play, and play it HARD!


That is what old-school Scouting is: A Game, NOT the "purpose."




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Eagle92, you did a great job with the initial advice. It seemed unclear, from other's comments whether the young man was in treatment for the attempt. If so, great, save the following for next time; but if not, then.....


I vehemently disagree with the comments: "The young man needs professional counseling. No not really." & Calico: "do not recommend counseling".








After 20 years of decline, teen suicide is again on the rise. See http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2008/11/after_2_decade_decline_teen_su.html


Suicide talk and attempts cannot be treated lightly. Some sources say that as many as 75% of those who discuss or try suicide will eventually suceed.


COMMENT: BSA has a Youth Protection program. If you believe that the Scout is not receiving professional help because mom is (1) unable to deal or cope; (2) didn't take the attempt seriously; or (3) doesn't want to "make it worse." Then I believe you should call social services and report the matter. This young man attempted to reach out to his scout leader. NO BLAME goes to the scout leader, we all get those calls and without an express threat then we deal with sympathy, expression that they should come back when they can, etc. BSA FACT CHECK FOR SUICIDE: http://www.scouting.org/FILESTORE/marketing/pdf/20a.pdf


IS SUICIDE PART OF Youth Protection? Yes. See Comments from Commissioner Service Newsletter re New Venturing Training: "Venturing The Personal Safety Guidelines DVD for this age-level was strengthened by adding a segment on teen suicide prevention and completely revising the material on Internet safety. Scenarios also address acquaintance rape

and sexual harassment."


Also on BSA website: Mental Health/Suicide and Other Youth Issues, speech by US Surgeon General 2005, part on suicide:


"Mental illnesses affect almost every American family. It can occur at any stage of life, from childhood to old age. No community is unaffected by mental illnesses; no school or workplace is untouched.


"Every year, between 5 to 9 percent of American children have a serious emotional disturbance. These figures mean that millions of children are disabled by mental illnesses every year.


"President Bush has said, "Americans must understand and send this message: mental disability is not a scandal -- it is an illness. And like physical illness, it is treatable, especially when the treatment comes early."


"Over the years, science has broadened our knowledge about mental health and illnesses, showing the potential to improve the way in which mental health care is provided. However, despite substantial investments that have enormously increased the scientific knowledge base and have led to developing many effective treatments, many Americans are not benefiting from these investments.


"Suicide is still the third leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-old Americans. Suicide costs us more than 30,000 lives each year. That's almost one person every 15 minutes. And once every 45 seconds someone else attempts suicide. And even if the life is spared, the heartache and pain is so severe that the spirit may never fully heal. Like so much of the death and disease in our nation, suicide is preventable. It's prevented by understanding and identifying risks and then taking the necessary protective measures. Working together, we can save these lives."



I WOULD SUGGEST that Eagle92 you call the local suicide prevention office in your city or state, there are many and often associated with major hospitals, teaching hospitals, etc. I'd ask what should I do.


I believe that Calico's response was incomplete. I agree with all the privacy and not assigning boy comments, but if she is saying, and I might just be interpreting, to just lump along like normal with just an extra eye out, then I believe that part is just wrong. Every special class I've taken on suicide says that espcially with teenagers it cannot be ignored or not treated. In 2004 suicide was the 5th leading cause of death in the US for young to mid range teens.


Here is the MAYO CLINIC'S DEPRESSION/SUIDE ADVICE from website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/suicide/MH00058

LOOK especially at the last 4 paragraphs or so of the Mayo article:


"Suicide: What to do when someone is suicidal

When someone you know appears suicidal, you might not know what to do. Learn warning signs, what questions to ask and how to get help.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Hearing someone talk about suicide can be distressful and upsetting. Hearing someone talk about suicide can be distressful and upsetting. You want to help him or her stay safe and get professional treatment. But you may not be sure how to help, whether you should take talk of suicide seriously, or if your intervention might even make the situation worse.

Certainly, not everyone who has thoughts of suicide or talks about suicide actually attempts it. But most people who take their own life have expressed their intention at some time. That's why it's important to take any talk or threat of suicide seriously, especially when someone has depression or another mental disorder, is intoxicated, or is behaving impulsively or recklessly.

While it may not be possible to prevent all suicides, your active involvement may make a difference in saving a life. Learn effective, compassionate ways to intervene and guide someone toward professional help when he or she may be considering suicide.

Know who's at risk of suicide

Understanding who's at a higher risk of suicide can help prevent a tragedy. While you don't necessarily need to constantly monitor someone who's at higher risk, you may be more alert for possible problems. Factors that may increase someone's risk of suicide include:

Previous suicide attempts

Having a psychiatric disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or personality disorders

Alcohol or substance abuse

A family history of mental disorders or substance abuse

A family history of suicide

Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse

Firearms in the home

A significant medical illness, such as cancer or chronic pain

Learn warning signs of suicide

You can't always tell when a loved one or friend is considering suicide. But here are some typical warning signs:

Talking about suicide, including making such statements as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead" or "I wish I hadn't been born"

Securing the means to commit suicide, such as getting a gun or stockpiling pills

Withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

Dramatic mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

Being preoccupied with death, dying or violence

Feeling trapped or hopeless about a situation

Increased use of alcohol or drugs

Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns

Engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior, such as using drugs or driving recklessly

Giving away belongings or getting affairs in order

Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again

Developing personality changes, such as becoming very outgoing after being shy

Also, don't always expect to see warning signs of suicide. Some people keep their thoughts of suicide secret or deny having suicidal intentions even when directly asked. And many who consider or attempt suicide do so when you thought they should be feeling better during what may seem like a recovery from depression, for instance. That's because they may finally muster the emotional energy to take action on their suicidal thoughts.

Ask questions when someone seems suicidal

The best way to find out if someone is considering suicide is to directly but gently ask. Asking them won't give them the idea or push them into doing something self-destructive. To the contrary, your willingness to ask can decrease the risk of suicide by giving them an opportunity to talk about their feelings. If someone denies having suicidal intentions but you're still worried, continue to gently raise the issue.

You can ask open-ended questions about their feelings or specific questions about suicide. Here are examples of questions you can ask someone you're concerned about:

Are you thinking about dying?

Are you thinking about hurting yourself?

Are you thinking about suicide?

Have you thought about how you would do it?

Do you know when you would do it?

Do you have the means to do it?

How are you coping with what's been happening in your life?

Do you ever feel like just giving up?

If a friend or loved one is considering suicide, he or she needs professional help. Remember, it's not your job to become a substitute for a mental health provider. Also, don't tell him or her that you promise not to tell anyone. The safety of your friend or loved one is of the utmost importance. Don't worry about losing a friendship when someone's life is at stake. Besides, carrying a secret like this is a big burden for you emotionally.

Take action through safe, supportive steps

If you believe someone is at imminent risk of suicide or harming himself or herself or has made a suicide attempt, don't leave the person alone. Call 911 or your local emergency services provider right away. If necessary, take the person to a hospital emergency department yourself.

If possible, find out if he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or may have taken an overdose. You may have to remove items that could become weapons of self-destruction, such as guns, knives or pills. But don't put yourself in harm's way by doing so.

If the danger of suicide or self-harm isn't imminent, offer to work together to find appropriate help, and then follow through on your promise. Someone who is suicidal or has severe depression may not have the energy or motivation to find help on their own.

Ways you can help include:

Finding a qualified doctor or mental health provider

Taking him or her to appointments

Sorting through health insurance policies or benefit information

Many types of help and support are available to people considering suicide. If your friend or loved one doesn't want to consult a doctor or mental health provider, suggest finding help from a support group, crisis center, faith community, teacher or other trusted confidante.

There's no way to predict with certainty who will attempt suicide. And although you're not responsible for preventing someone from taking his or her own life, your intervention may help him or her see that other options are available to stay safe and get treatment.

Be supportive and empathetic, not judgmental. Listen to his or her concerns without interruption. Reassure him or her that help is available and that with appropriate treatment he or she can feel better about life again. Don't be patronizing by telling someone that "everything will be OK," that "things could be worse" or that "you have everything to live for."

Direct questioning, supportive listening and gentle but persistent guidance can help you bring hope and appropriate treatment to someone who believes suicide will offer the only relief."



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Wow, I have no idea what I would do.


No secrets with in the Troop. Give the boys the actual story, what they will make up or imagine will be worse than the truth.


I would never attempt to counsel the young man or family myself. I would continue to do my job with in the troop and make myself available to the young man.


I am sure that the Police and social services are involved by now. So they will be receiving counciling.



I am betting it was pretty ugly in the home.

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Wow! Eagle 92 I do hope that the boy is doing better.


As a person who has felt like ending my life on many occassions, the 1st being when I was 10 years old; I really feel for this boy. Most people don't understand depression & don't know what it's like to feel like absolutely nothing & feeling like that so bad that you want to die. I've gone to weekly therapy off & on for about 11 years & been on medication for the last 10 years & if I wasn't, I wouldn't be here. I'm a single mom, widow, my husband committed suicide back in April 1997 & that has affected my children as they got older, especially my son.


My gut feeling is that he's been depressed since his parents marriage ended, his dad isn't around & probably worsened since his mom re-married & has a new baby. I'm guessing that going to Scouts was the only constant thing in his life. I'm sure that he has a lot on his mind, too much too handle & he's probably not able to concentrate in school. (My 14 yo son has depression & anxiety & when things get too much for him, he can't concentrate. He been on medication for almost 2 years & going to therapy too) Too bad his guidance counselor didn't call him to his/her office to talk to the boy to find out what's going on.


Since this young man "lived & breathed" scouting, it was wrong for his mom to take that away from him. Was he involved in sports too? If so, was that taken away from him too? Scouts was probably the only place where he felt "normal" so to speak & I'm sure he had good male role models there that he needed. It might have been the only activity that he really enjoyed too. People with depression, don't do a lot of the activities that they used to do; this might have been the last activity that he enjoyed & to have it taken from his was not right; I'm sure it made him feel more like "nothing" & wanting to die.


I would say that he could really use a good adult friend to talk to. Don't keep asking "how are you doing?" though as that might make him think of what happened, etc. Tell him that he can talk to you anytime about anything. If you can, play a game of catch with him, he might open up & talk while throwing the ball. The same might happen with a game of chess, checkers or anything else, where you can have a friendly, casual conversation.


If the other boys in the troop know that his dad isn't around & it bothers him; make sure, at least for a little while, that none of the other boys talk a lot about their fathers. I know this bothers my son & daughter at times when other kids are constantly talking about their dads. My children will get over it & so will this young man.


He should go for counseling, even if it's talking to the school social worker or guidance counselor on a weekly basis at least. It does help. Remind him that they're there to help him & that it's ok to talk to someone when you have a lot of stuff on your mind that interferes with your daily living. He could also keep a journal of how he feels, that helps too! Me, I do that on-line & I write songs & poems about how I feel & it does help. I show them to my therapist so she knows how I was feeling.


OK, I hope that I've made sense & haven't just rambled on. If I did, I apologize.





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