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Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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Attention parents, friends everyone: Save a young life

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To the editor:

I am writing this September 10, 2014. I understand that it is your duty to cover the news, but I feel it is your duty to also further awareness for what is obviously of such importance. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Living in an age of social media, this important campaign is already being spread rampantly, but I still feel, the older generation, as well as just the unplugged population needs not so gentle reminders of not only this day but the importance of its message.

Having lost my son Jacob Bowersock to suicide this past summer, I find myself not only ultra sensitive to this topic but more ultra aware as well. Suicide is a real problem, one that is not new to our world, but one that is definitely being discussed more because of social media removing the physical distance in our world. Instantly people are made aware of situations, or of people who have also shared similar experiences.

My son passed in June, and since that time I've been contacted by other mother's who have lost their children, Regina here in Lincoln, Paula in Bloomington. Labor Day weekend, a mother named Jill lost her daughter, Hannah in Pekin and most recently a senior in high school in Clinton, Evan, has died as well. Right there is more than enough people to have touched my life to make me further understand just how horrendous this is and how being aware of the problems our youth face is so important. It is their lack of experience in life that leads them to see this as an instant solution to their temporary problems never realizing how it will destroy those left behind. These aren't just cases of parents who are out of touch, or "missing the boat" with where their children are emotionally.

[to top of second column in this letter]

Suicide is real! Suicide needs to be talked about BEFORE it affects us personally. Too often it is that topic that is whispered about, or swept under the rug. It's not in the hands of just parents, or grandparent to address. It is in your hands if you are a human being! I am asking that you make yourselves aware of this problem. Talk to people, ask if they're doing okay, tell someone if you are not and as a member of the media make this day one more priority in your calendar to promote awareness.

Our children are leaving our lives before it is their time. I speak on behalf of all mothers, family members and friends to say that we would give anything for one more day, for our children to have been strong enough to look to someone next to them and say "I need help." And we would give anything to do our part to make sure another mom or family doesn't have to feel the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking pain of losing someone to suicide. Life is beautiful, sure full of cloudy days, but no one needs to wipe out their chances to see the sunshine tomorrow.

One last item of importance..... 1-800-273-8255 is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Put it in your phone, share it with your friends, post it on your locker, give it to everyone. It's time that we quit whispering, quit ignoring it, and just reach out to save someone.

Misty Bell

[Posted September 11, 2014]

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