A follow-up from the unexpected...

I've often heard Brad quote statistics from a National Census Bureau survey that claims that 1 in 3 high school students has thought about killing themselves, and 1 in 10 has actually planned out how to do this. I believe this statistic - I've talked to enough high-schoolers (and remember high school well enough) to remember how whatever you're in the middle of always feels bigger than anything else, and often bigger than you.

Still, the number is really staggering to think about, especially when you start applying the statistic to people you know. For example, you're sitting in a room with 30 high school students, and you realize that if the statistics hold up, 10 of them have thought about killing themselves, and 3 have planned out how they would do it. For all of my attempts to realize just how staggering this is in my head, it has still felt a little abstract to me.

Until Friday night, when I'm out to dinner with several friends, and we're talking about this high school student who just took her own life. There are eight of us there, and two friends are sharing about how they were those 1-in-10 when they were high school. It was a good conversation, as I got to pick their brains a bit about what they were thinking (did they think no one would care? did they just not care if anyone else cared? how did their family and friends' reactions play into their thoughts, or did it at all?), I realized, this is really true. There are far more high school students who actually think about killing themselves than anyone realizes, and since by nature it's such a private, deeply-held secret, the problem just seems overwhelming.

Anyway, I don't know what to do with all of these thoughts, or this new-found awareness.

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