The Suicidal Girl
One Sunday morning one of the boys in our church youth group called me up. I could tell he was anxious.
He told me that one of the younger girls in the group, Megan (not her name), had talked to several of the teens about being discouraged and wishing she were dead.
I asked him how he came by the information. He told me some of the teens in the group were talking about her. When they compared notes, they became worried. They didn’t know what to do so the called me.
We set up a meeting that afternoon with the teens who were involved.
I learned at the meeting that Megan, who was a rather emotional fourteen, felt isolated and thought no one liked her. No one had heard her say she wanted to kill her self. But no one had asked "the question" either.
I explained that I was going to talk to her and her parents but also told them they could help. They could start paying more attention to her, talking to her, hanging out with her, etc., not over doing it but taking a low key approach.
After talking to her and her parents, it became clear that Megan, was isolated and discouraged about her social situation. But she was not seriously depressed: no appetite changes, no sleep disturbance, no drop in grades no plan, no means, only a few oblique comments to friends.
After that, when I would see her at church events, I always walked over to her, gave her a hug, and spent some time talking to her, smiling at her and making positive eye contact with her.
I also noticed that the older teens in the group did the same. They even invited her to some of their personal social activities.
It wasn’t long before I noticed that every time I saw Megan, she was smiling.