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In life we have to make decisions. Whether that be what we eat, what we wear, or even what kind of friends we have. And we eventually have to get to a point in our lives where we have to decide where we want to go in life, what we want to be when we get older. With teens, we have our days where we feel like nothing is impossible..

.that nothing can stop us and that we’re on top of the world… while other days we want to just put up a wall between us and the world itself. And the need to fit in nowadays has somehow taken control of our lives. I mean our hormones are going crazy and our emotions are like on a non-stop rollercoaster.

Some teens can handle this weight of decision making or these crazy emotions. But for some teens… this feels like an overbearing weight and they cant see the light at the end of the tunnel. So unfortunately, these teens think the only way out is suicide. I am here today to inform and encourage each and every one of you to become aware of your actions and to acknowledge the effects they may have on people.

According to the centers for disease control and prevention, about 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.So why is this disease that is killing about ? of people still being left untreated? Or maybe is it just because we, the United States of America, are just too ignorant to be aware of the crying out for help these people give us? People who are believed to have depression and taking their lives usually have a loss of energy, they gain weight or even lose some weight, they also have unexplained crying and emotional outburst. All of us here today are aware of the social media platforms we have here  in this generation. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are filling us up with everlasting likes,retweets and snaps. But a study was conducted by the American College of Pediatricians showing that “over half of adolescents state they have been bullied online and over 25 percent of adolescents state they have been bullied repeatedly through internet or on cell phones. However, only 1 in 10 teens will tell a parent about the bullying” Our actions and words have a great impact on emotionally insecure individuals and some people don’t even realize it.

Don’t believe me? Ask the parents of Megan Meier, a 13 year old girl who was overweight, and awkward. But soon that all went away when she met this guy named Josh on MySpace. Josh would fill her up with compliments and would tell her how pretty she was without being too sexual about it. What Megan didn’t know was that the face behind the screen was not some boy who had a true interest in her but rather enemies of Megan. He’d been her friend only to call her a “slut” and a “bad person”. But unfortunately that’s not the jaw dropping part.

These “enemies” were neighborhood adults, parents of a girl with who Megan got into a little fight with. As you can imagine the parents of Megan were devastated to find out that their only child had killed herself 3 weeks before her 14th birthday.  I’m sure that all of us in this room have been bullied or have bullied others once upon a time. Whether you are brave enough to admit or not, everyone has done it or has went through it. I know this is true because a study was conducted by the MU center for school wide positive behavior supports that showed that 1 in 4 students in grades 4-8 are bullied regularly while 90% of middle school students reported to have either stood by and observed someone being bullied or has been the bullied himself.  Fortunately there are ways where we can overcome this. The entertainment businesses nowadays are finding ways to let people know how important, how imperative, it is to be aware and recognize our actions.

Although there are many speculations about the hit drama tv show, 13 reasons why which shows a young teenage girl who has committed suicide and how the people around her are being affected by it, it still portrays and shows how just a small act of kindness can go a long way.Or we can look to a familiar celebrity, Oprah, who tried to commit suicide 2 times once when she was 14 with her unborn child and in 1980 when attempted to drive her car in a tree upon hearing that her then husband had another wife and kids. As the once great philosopher, Plato,  once said, “Be kinder than necessary; everyone is fighting some kind of battle. You might not hear their screams, but they’re calling out for help. You can change at least one person’s life. Do you want to help heal or help hurt that life?

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