Letter: Today’s children face even more pressure

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First let me offer my sympathy and condolences for the loss of a very young and sweet girl. Our thoughts and prayers are with the suffering family.
We are in no way being judgmental, for most of us have no idea the pain and pressure our youth of today are under.  We have no idea how many are dealing with depression.
Thus, it comes as a shock when a situation like this story makes the front page.
We are so busy trying to make ends meet, to meet the rigors of schedules of  employment or social responsibilities that we fail to notice that young child’s pain or depression, or at lest fail to recognize it as such, contributing it to a phase they are going through. If it is, it’s one that can be deadly for them.
We must take time to realize their needs and be prepared to recognize it for what it is, and as parents, deal with it in a supportive way—as friends as well as neighbors,to provide the parents with what we observe and as needed provide them with advice and guidance to successfully save a young child’s life.
As a parent, that was the one thing I feared more than life itself—that one of my children would develop depression and I would fail to recognize it for what it was.  As a young law enforcement officer, I had found myself dealing with a family who lost a child in such a manner and saw the trauma it forced on them.
As a parent, I saw the additional pressures on my child from when I was one, and as a grandparent and now a great grandparent, I see even more pressures applied to our children in each generation by our society and its way of life.  Please notice, pay attention, and give these children the benefit of your experience and knowledge of life by sharing and giving the ability to deal with these pressures, thus helping to save lives.
These are judgement calls, for their is no way for the layman to know exactly what is bothering a child—an illness or a phase.
Doctors can treat or refer patients, many pastors are trained to deal with this problem or can refer to one who is, but first a person with the knowledge and training to treat must be made aware.
If you suspect there may be a problem, take the time to follow through. Someone’s life may depend on it.

–Johnny Thacker, Jemison