Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and one mom has written a memoir in the hopes that her story will save someone else’s child or loved one. Her son, Tim Schenke, committed suicide at age 18 in 2008 when he stepped in front of a moving train. The boy suffered from depression but was highly functioning at school as a student and an athlete. Of course, his mother, Lisa Schenke, wishes she had noticed more and done more. That’s why she wrote Without Tim. She’s spent years healing from her devastation and giving advice to other parents. Sadly, her son was one in 10 kids who committed suicide in Southern Monmouth County, New Jersey, in a four year period. The area reeled from sadness. This is her story.
Through writing and reaching out, Lisa has slowly started to pick up the pieces of her life. She had to–she has other children to love and protect. Here’s what she has to say about her new book, Without Tim.
KK: September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day (and September is Suicide Prevention Month). How are you bringing awareness and changing families by sharing your son’s story?
LS: I am truly grateful that suicide prevention is getting more and more attention each year. The takeaway message from the awareness campaign is: Suicide IS preventable. I feel that the idea of a particular day/month continues to raise awareness and that is very important because it spreads information about the warning signs and treatment options, and helps decrease the stigma surrounding suicide.
KK: Is there a checklist you would like to share with parents on the signs of mental health issues in their children? What do you now know about the important “TO DOs” about depressed children?
LS: As a mom and parent, I would recommend trying to stay as positive as possible — i.e. continue to reinforce that everything will be ok, that you are there for them, that things will get better. Sometimes when I was under stress, I don’t think I stayed as positive as I would have liked to be. It’s hard. Try to help your child understand that it’s ok to have fears and insecurities and that there is a way to get to a better place. Try to remain calm and patient; something I wish I would have been better at. (more…)