The X(b+a*y) Factor

The title is just to throw you off. Actually, the title is part of a statistical formula for calculating correlation and regression of relationships within a sample group. People sometimes refer to them as “splatter charts” because they look like a bunch of dots randomly splattered within a graph.

Gold broke another record today! Gold hit the $900.00 dollar mark, albeit for a few hours during trading, but it broke through it. Now that it appears that the metal is taking off, my frears of inflation gaining more momentum is beginning to make me get ready for the economic meltdown, thus releasing what little little debt I have and staying above red ink. I can see mortgage companies starting to real in their limits on loans, and Banks starting to roll up their carpets just before the crunch. The next thing to go would be the Bank of Canada raising its prime interest rate–like we’ve seen this before back in the 1980s. Am I a pessimist or what!

I have being reading some very interesting, yet disturbing texts, as part of my courses in Criminology. I will not go into too much detail, partly because of the nature of the content, but mostly because it is sensitive information dealing with real live people and places pertaining to criminal events. The topic of this particular story deals with teenage suicide, and the effects it has on the community. The paper deals with the scares resources that are currently available, and the collapse of the people around the victim. Evenything from the Church that the victim went to, to the social worker who was supposed to be in charge of maintaining the well being for the youngster, failed–and they failed miserably I must add. And like in all events with tragic consequences, hindsight is always 20/20.

However, the lessons learned have still yet to be given the full attention they deserve, and what recommendations have being made have yet to be implemented. The death occurred over five years ago and still many other children from that village, a Northern community of just over a thousand people, are on the verge of committing suicide today according to the paper, published 2007. There is very little in terms of resources to help these people when dealing with suicide prevention. The nearest town that can facilitate them is a four hour drive away so costs are always forefront with local governments.

What got me, after reading the paper, was the content of the suicide note left behind. The note was address not to the teenager’s peers, or family, but to a teacher that the teenager had from the year before at her school. The one line in the transcript, quoting from the child’s note, that stuck in my throat was, “…I know I’m a failure, but I really tried, and I know you think I had so much to live for.” The paper had a copy of the note photocopied, a page ripped out of a steno-pad, and I saw such beautiful handwriting. This is truly a social tragedy that unfolded that day in 2003.

There was no evidence of sexual or drug abuse, just hints of peer pressure and a “grey to bleak” future. The victim’s family was working class, and earned well within the middle class wages through the region, so there are many questions as to why this person took her own life? I cannot help but ask why did the community, with its growing and striving economy, not have programs geared towards teenagers and children; programs that could of, at least, help out and deal with prevention and foster growth for the youth?

So I leave you with this thought: what would you do if confronted with a teenager who just told you that they wanted to commit suicide? Remember that there are laws and rules that deal with this. The first thing you must do is get the child to the authorities, parents, or to a hospital’s psychiatric facility. Counselling and intervention must start right away. But what would you say? How would you handle such an event?

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