Let us imagine the following scene: a child is sad and thoughtful, sitting on a window sill in his home talking to himself. This is an apparently harmless situation, which in itself merely expresses the idea of someone who is maybe thinking about the next game of the day. It might go unnoticed that this person, who is so young, is in fact facing a great challenge in his life, a deep feeling of loneliness.
What might be merely a common-place scene is interrupted in a tragic way: that child is stressed and depressed—he is experiencing inner chaos, with feelings caused by solitude, by family conflicts, or quarrels between colleagues in the classroom—and he commits the barbarous act of suicide, taking his own life, which was just beginning there on the material plane. Unfortunately, suicides in childhood happen and they are not few in number.
Researches reveal that the rate of suicide in the age group between 6 and 14 years old has been growing considerably all over the world and the most frequent cause is child depression. According to a series of studies published in The Lancet, the rate of suicide among young people increased ten times between 1980 and 2000, from 0.4 to 4 for every 100,000 people.
The series also registered that teenagers avoid seeking help because they fear being stigmatized and that rumors about their suicidal thinking will spread in school. Therefore a lot of attention is needed in order to notice the signs of depression, which is not just occasional sadness, but a deeper condition that takes time to overcome and needs to be identified quickly so that the person can avoid the tragedy of suicide. Depression demands medical care, and with the support of religiousness it can be beat.
The role of all of us
The situation requires attention, love, and affection from parents, those responsible, teachers, and society in general. Attention, because they normally give signs of their intention to commit suicide imminently: a lack of interest and apathy; bad results at school; difficulties in relationships with family members and friends; low self-esteem; constant introspection; among others. When children say or suggest something they are not always simply seeking attention, as sometimes is imagined. Therefore, as their guardians we must protect them and guide them.
+ Watch this short video of the World Health Organization (WHO), focusing on depression among adolescents and young adults, highlights some of the symptoms of depression and the importance of talking as the first step towards getting help:
Acting preventively was always the safest and most effective path to solving any challenge. We need to constantly talk with children and young people, helping them understand the spiritual meaning of their existence and presenting ourselves as those who will always support them and help them so they know how to deal with adversity.
On this subject, Paiva Netto, the President-Preacher of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit1, writes in the article Tribute to parents, he also records:
"May our children be well-clothed, fed, nourished, and medicated as necessary. But, above all, may they be protected from bad psychological and spiritual influences that fatally result in physical and social ills.”
To establish the indispensable protection our children need so they can live happily and safely we need to teach them to look after their Souls. We need to teach them to pray and rely on the presence of their Guardian Angel. We need to teach them how to find Peace, even during their difficulties, by trusting in Jesus and understanding the situations in the Light of His Divine message. We need to show them the danger of bringing movies, games, and attitudes into our homes that encourage violence and fear. As Paiva Netto concludes very well, we need to teach children to defend themselves.
Alziro Zarur (1914-1979), the late proclaimer of the Religion of Universal Love, has already stated that "suicide does not resolve anyone’s anguish". It is important that our family knows that no one should take their own life, whoever they are, whether children, young people, adults, or the elderly, since this act will never produce a solution for the drama they are experiencing.
On the contrary, it will cause even greater problems because we are immortal beings, as the Religion of the Third Millennium teaches us, and our path will continue on the other side of existence with the added heavy burden of having left our material garment before time. A long and painful time will be necessary for remaking the Soul, which will be in debt to the merciful Law of Life, which God created. In the specific case of children, they undoubtedly need the help of their parents, because it is their duty before the Christ of God, before Jesus, to protect them and love them.
To those who have already returned to the Spiritual World, victims of an act of suicide, under any circumstance whatsoever, we must dedicate our prayers and the sincere request to the Divine Friend of Mankind that He protect, help, and support them so that they may regain their lives on the path to the evolution of their eternal Spirit.
Therefore, the message of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit is to resist despair and teach our children to resist also, however bad the road we are walking along may seem. Jesus is by our side and He will always inspire us with the best ideas, thoughts, and attitudes, because it was He who guaranteed:
"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (The Gospel of the Divine Friend according to Matthew, 11: 28).
We need to persevere always and ask for His help. Because He will always come!
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1 Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit — also called the Religion of the Third Millennium, and the Religion of Universal Love. This is the Ecumenical Religion of Brazil and the world.
Version: Rob Dinham
Revision: Rosana Bertolin