In the wake of the latest teen suicides, I felt compelled to share this message. At the start of the school year, there had been two teen suicides caused by bullying. I wrote an article for Youthink on bullying prevention. Sadly, since then, there have been two more deaths in the news. Ottawa teen Jamie Hubley took his life in October, and Marjorie Raymond of Quebec committed suicide this month.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Canadian youth between the ages of 10 - 24 (Canadian Mental Health Association). Young people who are bullied struggle with low self-esteem, depression, fear and the daily challenge of having to face their tormentors. This often results in them skipping school to avoid their aggressors, which creates even more tension and conflict.
Despite their own pain, these youth often try and reach out to help other young people who are suffering through the same situation. I wish to share a heartbreaking and powerful message from grade eight student Jonah Mowry. Since posting this on YouTube, there has been an outpouring of support for this courageous young man. Viewers of the video have been moved by his story and have rallied to send him messages of support, encouragement and affirmation.
Speak out against bullying. Be a peer advocate and support other students. Spread LOVE not hate. We’ll all be better for it!
Here’s Jonah’s video and the empowering reply he received from one viewer. Please post on Facebook and Twitter and ask your friends to do the same:
Jonah Mowry - What’s Going On…
Jonathan - What’s goin on… Take 2
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