In our everyday lives, it becomes easy to overlook the little things. The subtle feelings and actions of another individual don’t impact everyone in the same way. Unfortunately, it is often the case that when an individual’s unhappiness and despair is expressed, it is perceived as a cry for attention: their actions and words are written off as tantrums in children and stereotypical angst in adolescents. However, everyone should be taken seriously, no matter their age. Anxiety is real. Depression is real. Distress is real. Fear is real. It is for these reasons that November is National Runaway Prevention Month (NRPM) and both the International Day for Tolerance and International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day are recognized.
According to National Runaway Safe-Line, the goals of NRPM are to raise awareness of the runaway and homeless youth crisis and the issues that these young people face as well as to both educate the public about solutions and the role they can play in ending youth homelessness. It is essential that action is taken because the data shows that in just one year 1.6 to 2.8 million kids run away. It is important to understand why so many children are so unsettled at home that they feel they need to run. It can be anything from fear of their guardians inflicting some form of abuse to a mere lack of a true support system at home. As children grow into adolescents, running away often stems from a sense of isolation that comes from having anxiety and depression. They may also be having some feelings that their parents’ deem controversial and wrong and are not being listened to or understood. Feeling as though your own family cannot support your decisions is an ultimate form of betrayal. It is important that children of all ages are being listened to and that their feelings are not being disregarded as cries for attention.
It is important that we strive to do this for people of all ages. Many of us are constantly fighting our own demons, and it becomes easy to get to a really bad place. Those who take their lives often leave behind people to mourn them. International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day was held on November 19, and its purpose is to recognize those who are affected by suicide loss and provide support and healing. We all make our mark on the world for the time that we are here no matter how big or small. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted a 90-minute online program for those who weren’t able to attend a Survivor Day event in person. Take action to prevent this loss of life by utilizing the infinite number of resources available to us. Getting things like QPR training, which is a three step process that aids one in recognizing signs and knowing how to take action, really does make a difference.
In this world, filled with so much violence, and hate, it is easy to pass of judgment on those who are different. In an effort to overcome this issues, the United Nations created the International Day for Tolerance which is recognized on November 16. Their hope is to foster mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. Our world is so diverse that striving to make things like this happen is necessary. We are all different, every individual, and that’s a good thing. Who would want to live on a planet where everyone was the same?
While many see the month of November as a push into the holiday season, it is also a time to further develop our respect and understanding of others, remain mindful of every thought and action, and utilize our resources to continue to make this world a better place to live.