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  • Depression....how do we help our children??

    Depression is a serious word. It is easily used in a sentence, but world wide it's a disease we all need to focus on. I know lots of friends and family who have attempted suicide or have succeeded in ending their lives. I am drawn to this issue, because of the most recent Red Lake killings. Mr. Weiss was asking for help, but in the shadows. No one heard his pleas for help. I think we all need to take a minute and remember when in your daily events, has a family or friend talked about suicide, death, torment, being rejected, being sad or talks about ending it all. It saddens me, because I know what it's like to hear that and do nothing, later regretting it.

    I believe that as Native Americans we don't show a high priority when it comes to the rest of the world. We only show as statistics. Only we can do something about it. I know we don't have much. We don't have enough money from the government to run good schools, churches, governments and hospitals. But why not do something good for our children, by loving them more today. Whatever lives we lead, whether we are rich or poor, love is all we got. We need to take the time to say that word, love. It doesn't take alot to care. If you know there is a trouble person, don't ignore. If you know your neighbor is hitting his wife and children, don't ignore. If you know the next door neighbor's kid is hungry, don't ignore. This is reality. Our reservations are poor, we all know that. But we are Natives, we should be proud and family oriented. We shouldn't stop to show we care to a troubled teen.

    Wherever you come from, what tribe you are affiliated with..........let's focus on our children. Find out what they like, how they are doing in school, who are their friends, their goals, and with this note, we could be preventing a disaster.

    I'm deeply saddened by the incident in Red Lake. It could happen in your community.....let's get involved TODAY!!!
    Fall down 7 times, get up 8. MY FAMOUS WORDS.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Echo4Tango
    Depression is a serious word. It is easily used in a sentence, but world wide it's a disease we all need to focus on. I know lots of friends and family who have attempted suicide or have succeeded in ending their lives. I am drawn to this issue, because of the most recent Red Lake killings. Mr. Weiss was asking for help, but in the shadows. No one heard his pleas for help. I think we all need to take a minute and remember when in your daily events, has a family or friend talked about suicide, death, torment, being rejected, being sad or talks about ending it all. It saddens me, because I know what it's like to hear that and do nothing, later regretting it.

    I believe that as Native Americans we don't show a high priority when it comes to the rest of the world. We only show as statistics. Only we can do something about it. I know we don't have much. We don't have enough money from the government to run good schools, churches, governments and hospitals. But why not do something good for our children, by loving them more today. Whatever lives we lead, whether we are rich or poor, love is all we got. We need to take the time to say that word, love. It doesn't take alot to care. If you know there is a trouble person, don't ignore. If you know your neighbor is hitting his wife and children, don't ignore. If you know the next door neighbor's kid is hungry, don't ignore. This is reality. Our reservations are poor, we all know that. But we are Natives, we should be proud and family oriented. We shouldn't stop to show we care to a troubled teen.

    Wherever you come from, what tribe you are affiliated with..........let's focus on our children. Find out what they like, how they are doing in school, who are their friends, their goals, and with this note, we could be preventing a disaster.

    I'm deeply saddened by the incident in Red Lake. It could happen in your community.....let's get involved TODAY!!!

    I agree with you ECHO... your words are strong..
    If you can bare with me...Ill tell an experience....

    During my drinking days... A friend of mine had a bday party...
    her husband and her had been having problems.. and they had troubles with drinking.. her drinking was due to tryin to forget so much that had happened to her in the months prior to this party. there was death, her husband had cheated and found out he had a son from way bak, and she had given birth to a new baby ( 4 mths @ time of party).

    The party seemed to be going good she was having fun.. drunken fun and her so callled freinds were there... then ALL of a sudden a rush of people are at her house.. NO one she really knows of... they are her sis in laws friends... and in the mix of those people was trouble...
    I left the party early... but what happened after that shcoked me and hurt me deeply...If I only would have known...

    She caught her her husband making out with a girl in her own house... when i say making out i mean well.. im sure you can figure it out.... well of course my friend was upset and she blew... her drunken anger and hurt... she slapped her husband and then wham she got beaten fer 6 hours straight...What upsets me is that out of about 20 people NOT 1 person tried to help her... by the time I found out what had happened... It was too late.. she was in psych ward all black and blue...

    I cried when i saw her... she wasnt the person I knew... she was gone.. lifeless... and all she could say was why didnt anyone help me?? I felt so much guilt when she said that.... I left that party that night... Maybe if i woulda stayed she wouldnt have ended up like that... I guess she tried to get her daughter to call but dad would rip the phone outta the wall... I called ALL the people I knew that were there... and reemed them out... I told them she was in rough shape and why the hell they didnt do anything to help her if she was thier friend?? The answer i got was... Its not our way to get involved... I was what ?? NOT our way ???
    then what IS our way ?? what does that mean NOT our way ???
    I still hear that today its not our way... so basiclly its not our way to help our own kind... to make sure that our OWN people are safe.. to step in when we witness injstice towards another human being yet we WANT other people to HELP US?? KIND a double standard if you ask me!!! NO one will help US until we FIRST help ourselves...

    My friend... well she is now is fine... a single mom... and Happy , although she doesnt have alot fo freinds.. she keep those that she has close to her and I am one... Im Soo thankful she still loves me.., I am grateful that I was able to help her in sum way but to this day not too sure exactly what it is that i have done fer her... Her children are still tryin to adjust becasue she gets those triggers.. but she knows NOW who to call for help... and unfortunately.. I am her ONLY NdN friend...
    She said well they werent there for me... they watched me get beaten... and she remebers them all just leaving her... It was people that she didnt even KNOW that came to her aid... that helped her... that guided her.. I have tried to tell her that NOT all NdNs are this way... but the scar is deep..hopefully she will see, but i truly dont blame her, I just feel so bad for her... and shame at the same time that she DOES have the right to say this...

    So I agree.... Dont turn your heads... get involved... even if the person doesnt seem to want your help... help them!!! dont just get up and walk away...... I wonder what kind of shyt those people there at that party would have faced if My freind would have died that night.... All the ones that said it wasnt our way.....

    ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


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    • #3
      Originally posted by AngelFeather
      I am grateful that I was able to help her in sum way but to this day not too sure exactly what it is that i have done fer her...

      What did you do for her? YOU WERE HER TRUE FRIEND!!! It's hard to find one like you! She is very blessed to have you as a friend!!!!!!!!!!! I hope she realizes what she has with you.
      "I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us.
      There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun,
      the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say." **Geronimo







      Comment


      • #4
        alot of us have that look the other way attitude nowadays. i have decided recently that i will no longer take this attitude. and luckily i have not come across anything like what was posted ^^.

        but i still remember one time when i was 18 at the bar (of course - in alberta legal age is 18) and me and my best friend at the time came upstairs to call for a cab. when this girl comes running up to the area we were at waiting for our cab - she didn't say anything to us but kept running. my friend and i looked at eachother confused when this guy comes running up and asks us where she went and we point the other way of the direction the girl went. we didn't know what was going on and our cab drove up right after. we got in and i asked my friend if we should call the police. she said naw - we had places to go and she didn't want to stick around and give a report.

        i always thought about her - did she get away? did he find her? what the hell was going on?

        i still give my hubby shyt about this one time, dang this was about 7 - 8 years ago. he was at a house party with one of his friends (without me, of course) and one of my old friends was getting beaten up by her old man. and him and his friend didn't help her - nobody did. i told him what if that was one of YOUR daughters?
        Watch your broken dreams...
        Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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        • #5
          I know it takes alot of guts to report an incident

          Sometimes it's real hard to decide if you should get involved. I have heard that, "It's none of our business".. But it takes only a phone call to stop the violence. I had friends who've been through crazy shyt like that too. But it does take a real friend to step in and say it's enough. There hundreds of woman and children on the reservations who are beaten daily. I just ran into my cousin this weekend and she was in another town hiding from her abusive husband. I wonder though sometimes, why she stays with him after 20 years. That I don't understand. That is the hard part when you step in and the victim returns back to the relationship. But I know if my neighbor was beating his wife or beating his/her kid, I would call the police ASAP! That I won't have. When it comes to children, I won't hesitate to call. After being experiences similar to this thread, I know if I were to ever get hit by a man, I will not stand by and allow it to continue. Anyway......everyone, keep vigilant and thanks for responding, it's a sensitive issue indeed.
          Fall down 7 times, get up 8. MY FAMOUS WORDS.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Echo4Tango
            Sometimes it's real hard to decide if you should get involved. I have heard that, "It's none of our business".. But it takes only a phone call to stop the violence. I had friends who've been through crazy shyt like that too. But it does take a real friend to step in and say it's enough. There hundreds of woman and children on the reservations who are beaten daily. I just ran into my cousin this weekend and she was in another town hiding from her abusive husband. I wonder though sometimes, why she stays with him after 20 years. That I don't understand. That is the hard part when you step in and the victim returns back to the relationship. But I know if my neighbor was beating his wife or beating his/her kid, I would call the police ASAP! That I won't have. When it comes to children, I won't hesitate to call. After being experiences similar to this thread, I know if I were to ever get hit by a man, I will not stand by and allow it to continue. Anyway......everyone, keep vigilant and thanks for responding, it's a sensitive issue indeed.

            thanks for having your heart ..... i am not from a rez, but i live in a ghetto, where we experience most of the same crap, but i alwayz and alwayz will help people, no matter if they are ndn, black, white , asian ... what ever. it is in my heart and will alwayz be. i truly believe in what comes around goes around, so even if you don't wanna get physically involved , just pick up the phone and let your fingers do the helping, and you don't really have to stick around .... just make the call
            "When the forest weeps, the Anishinabe who listens will look back at the years. In each generation of Ojibway there will be a person who will hear the si-si-gwa-d, who will listen and remember and pass it on to the children."

            "Night Flying Woman"

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree w/all ya'll. I don't know where everyone is from and how they handle this in your area, but I think it really sucks that I can use my card for commods and to fix my broke arm or go have a baby (or something medical like that) but if I have a problem that I need counseling for--i.e. depression, anger, bereavement, etc--there's no use trying to get help through the tribe b/c they contract all those services out through the state. I'm not saying that any ethnic/racial group has worse problems or experiences them differently, but maybe our approach at solving or the WAY WE CHOOSE TO DEAL WITH THEM is different? I think we should definitly pay more attention to issues like depression, getting involved in stopping physical abuse, and abuse of drugs/alcohol...I also think that to really make a difference we need to have more ndn counselors and mental health workers that can relate to the need of the community and lobby for healthcare reform. As a whole, I think we have been slow to accept some of these ideas (especially when it comes to mental wellbeing) because of a variety of reasons, but also because of distrust of modern non-Native practictioners...I don't know about you but I'd rather pour my heart out to ya'll or any other skin who was less qualified than a white Dr. elsewhere. (That is as long as I know I won't see ya'll at the next powwow ayeeee!!)

              Comment


              • #8
                I noticed on our reservation, most people are ashamed to be seen at a counselor's office. I truly back the idea up on having more counselors for Indian communities. It takes a person with alot of compassion to take on a big responsiblity like that too. If I chose that field, I know I wouldn't bare seeing children in broken homes or a single mother with no where to turn. it really sucks that our communities are so poor and we keep living like that for decades. I mean why is it that our people don't see development and growth. I know we are quick to judge, but it seems like we just drag ourselves into proverty and despair. Why is it like that? It's so heartwrenching to think about it.
                Fall down 7 times, get up 8. MY FAMOUS WORDS.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Echo4Tango
                  I mean why is it that our people don't see development and growth. I know we are quick to judge, but it seems like we just drag ourselves into proverty and despair. Why is it like that? It's so heartwrenching to think about it.
                  I hear Ya Tango... I totally see what youre comign from... I dont understand it either... Its like we have almost accepted that this is all we deserve out of life.. or that we have been fighting this battle SOOOo long that we have lost the will to keep fighting... Ill prolly get bashed for this comment.. but thats ok.. cause we are being honest... and talking about that which we observe,,, and i see this everyday...

                  I see the shame... the shame to ask for help the shame to want it... so instead we just accept... Fear that others will judge us and make us feel more crazy or in need of more help...My friend felt like that... I found her an outside place to go... where no on knew what she was doing cause i knew If i didnt she wouldnt go and the cycle would only continue into her own children... I am so proud of her now... she has done so welll but it takes more than JUST that 1 person.... it may take alot more to help JUST one... this girl that i talk about she had a multitude of people around her... people she could depend on and call at any moments notice they never made her feel as tho she was being a burden they never asked her questions.. we only listened to her and held her when she cried the rest of the work was hers... so YES indeed we as NAtive people need to commune and connect with one another in order to support and lean on each other.
                  without that support more and more of our people will feel aloneand accept the lower end of life when they dont have to.
                  Last edited by AngelFeather; 03-30-2005, 03:44 PM.

                  ~~~ Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up. ~~~


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ladies, you have all given some strong advice and put some hard s*** out there! I could agree with so many things some of y'all said. This issue has been on my mind a lot too...how can we help our children?

                    For the past few years, there have been SO many suicides amongst our youth around here it's almost beyond belief. Today, we buried another young child in one of our small communities. It's so sad.

                    Lately, my friends and I have been having this same conversation over and over. Some of my friends don't even have children of their own, but still find themselves wondering how they can help.

                    A few of us think it's a good idea for these families to start a support group in their community. The parents always want to blame themselves. I won't sit here and put the blame on the parents, but I think the parents should go out and talk to their children's peers in the schools. Maybe some of the parents would feel better in dealing with their loss if they feel they may have made a difference with someone else's child.

                    What about bringing our culture/religion back into the school. I know a lot of ppl would disagree with this, but I say GO FOR IT! I went to a Catholic Indian Mission school and we read from the Bible everyday and had church every week. We also had elderly from our community come in and teach us our traditional language. At least thru religion/culture you learn RESPECT. Respect of ourselves and respect to others and all things!

                    **********************************************
                    One more thing I'd like to add. I'm just putting this out there and just want to make it clear that this isn't my opinion or thoughts...just came from a friend of mine. My friend asked me how I felt about burying a person that has committed suicide. She said in the Bible, we aren't suppose to honor them with a big service and it's a sin to take ones own life. She asked me if I thought it was right for us to bury someone in a cemetary (because she heard that they are suppose to be buried on the outside). She also commented on how we aren't teaching our children anything when we are having big honorings for someone who has committed suicide cause their peers will look at this like 'finally someone is paying attention to my friend...after they died'. My friend really made me think on some of her comments...

                    Idk, I surely don't have all the answers. All I can say is that I talk to my daughter everyday because Communication is SO important! I tell her I love her and kiss her everytime we seperate for the day or whatever. I ask her how her day went and how school was, her test, practice, everything!! Be there for your kids...love, hug, kiss, and most importantly talk to them!!! Thanks for listening.............**FL**

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                    • #11
                      How can you help? well, lemme tell you as someone who has had depression for most of my life and made numerous suicide attempts, if someone tries to talk to you about their problems, LISTEN!!!!!!! Don't just pooh-pooh it off or get pissy with them because you are uncomfortable. Your discomfort and refusal to listen just may cost somebody their life. and don't ream somebody out for attempting or thinking about suicide, or they may not come to you for help ever again. Instead of giving depressed people sh*t or looking the other way because you don't want to deal with it, or take responsibility if you are a parent and you kid is depressed, help them find counseling and some coping mechanisms let them know that they aren't alone, and they have a nonjudgemental ear and a sympathetic shoulder to lean on if they need it. you may just save someone's life.
                      Mad Scientists Union Local 42
                      Evil Geniuses For a Better Tomorrow

                      The secret of my succes is 30% natural talent, 10% inspiration, and the remaining 60% is just the fact that I am nucking futs.

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                      • #12
                        Unfortunately I come from a family with a long line of suicide. I lost 3 cousins and an aunt to suicide because of cheating spouses or divorces, all with several children of their own and an uncle because he was an alcholic and his daughter refused to let him drink in her home that he was living in at the time. Now my uncle lived for his "beverages" but it still didn't make any sense. The others, well, with all the family members and friends they had, they could have found someone to talk to. But the biggest problem in my family (extending way down the line) is alcholism. I personally know from being a recovering alcholic that you can get to the state of mind while drinking, that nothing matters. The only difference between me and them, I sought out someone to help me through it. You have to suck it up and put all pride aside and think about what is more important. To me, my children and husband were worth everything I had to go through to get where I am today. Sad to say, it's not that easy for some.

                        It breaks my heart to see a mother loose her child because of suicide. They live the rest of their life blaming themselves for not seeing it coming. I personally think there is too much emphasis today in America on smoking and not enough on suicide and mental illness. I worry about my children and suicide since it runs rampit in the family, but I make sure they have all the love, understanding and support I can give them.
                        "I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us.
                        There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun,
                        the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say." **Geronimo







                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DeusExMachina
                          How can you help? well, lemme tell you as someone who has had depression for most of my life and made numerous suicide attempts, if someone tries to talk to you about their problems, LISTEN!!!!!!! Don't just pooh-pooh it off or get pissy with them because you are uncomfortable. Your discomfort and refusal to listen just may cost somebody their life. and don't ream somebody out for attempting or thinking about suicide, or they may not come to you for help ever again. Instead of giving depressed people sh*t or looking the other way because you don't want to deal with it, or take responsibility if you are a parent and you kid is depressed, help them find counseling and some coping mechanisms let them know that they aren't alone, and they have a nonjudgemental ear and a sympathetic shoulder to lean on if they need it. you may just save someone's life.
                          i agree totally..i too am a person who has dealt with depression and post partum depression (with all my pregnancies - didn't know i had it for my first and it was really really bad with my second - trying to time my death so it would coincide with the arrival home of my husband from work so my babies wouldn't be alone for long). got treatment with my second, third and fourth.

                          most family/people just go into "freeze" mode and just nod agreeingly with the suicidal person. then after the suicide its like "i never saw it coming."

                          sounds like its a good time to be living in canada - universal health care. you can walk into any (i mean any) hospital ermergency room or mental health or clinic or doctors office and get counselling for FREE.

                          just talking to someone and letting them know they aren't alone is the number one thing you can do. my sister still calls me on the phone to ask me how i'm feeling - sometimes l lie and sometimes i don't (and she knows this). it's just the phone call that helps ..
                          Watch your broken dreams...
                          Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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