Warning: This post discusses suicide and attempted suicide and may be triggering to some

Jared was 10 years old when his grandmother found him in the guest room. Dark purple skin, blood around his lips, no pulse; Jared’s grandmother and Jared’s mother, Amber, thought he was gone for good.

Attempted suicide 10 year old boy
Source: Love What Matters

They quickly called emergency services and, incredibly, Jared survived. But many children don’t. It’s heartbreaking to read stories about young children wanting to end their lives but we see this every single day. Just two months ago we shared a story about Drayke who ended his life after dealing with online bullies. He was just 12.

We also shared a story about a 12-year-old who took his life due to the stress of social isolation. 

Jared wasn’t bullied at school nor was he socially isolated. He had a strong support system but he also had a lot of pain and sadness in his heart, especially after his grandfather died.

Jared’s mum Amber shares her son’s story as a way to raise awareness of suicide and help ensure no other family goes through what they have had to.

As Amber tells Love What Matters,

My son tried to end his life at 10 years old. He was going through a hard time, missing his Papaw who died a year before [but] never in a million years would I have thought suicide would cross my son’s mind.

He’s always been a happy kid, full of life and love. After his Papaw passed away, he grew more angry, short-tempered and got aggravated quickly. But I thought it was nothing unusual. I thought he was just going through a stage like all preteens go through, normal for most boys his age. He said everything was fine.”

‘This can’t be happening’

On the day it happened, Amber was 30 weeks pregnant and having a visit with her sister and mum.

Amber called out for Jared but he didn’t answer. Jared grandmother went to open the guest room to find out why he was ignoring them but noticed it was locked and had to get the key.

I will never forget the way she screamed. My heart jumped in my throat and I knew instantly something was wrong. The way his face looked will forever be permanent in my mind. He was dark purple/black with blood around his lips. He was on his knees leaning forwards. My baby died! No, no this can’t be happening. This can’t be real!” 

A heartbroken Amber went into shock while Amber’s mother was able to get Jared breathing again. He was flown to the nearest children’s hospital and placed on life support.

Source: Love What Matters

 

I just wanted to hold my baby tight and I felt like I failed him. As a mother, I should have seen these warning signs, I should have known, but I didn’t!”

For the next week, Amber watched helplessly as Jared remained on life support. He was placed in an induced coma to help his body heal and Amber recalls watching him go through intense shivering periods, his lung collapsing and being told that Jared wouldn’t make it.

I just stared at my precious freckled-faced boy while stroking his hair. I told him if he could hear me to know that I’m here with him and I’m not leaving his side, I loved him so much and needed him to pull through.” 

tween attempted suicide
Source: Love What Matters

By some miracle, Jared woke up. He had to relearn how to walk and talk and received treatment in a children’s psychiatric ward, but he got there. Amber is so incredibly grateful that her son made it, that he got to meet his little sister and that he overcame this dark period.

God not only blessed me with my son once, but twice. I’m very thankful my baby boy pulled through this because without him I would be lost.”

Source: Love What Matters

‘So many questions in my head’

Amber has also reflected on her son’s attempted suicide and has since taken courses in suicide prevention to know what to look out for.

I had so many questions running through my head. A part of me believed he was just fooling around and it was accidental. What 10-year-old would think of suicide? They are just babies themselves.

If it was intentional, then why?” 

Jared never spoke out about how he truly felt. Not many kids do. But he has now. And his message is one the world needs to hear.

Jared’s story: ‘You are worthy’

Three years ago, I went into my Pappaw’s room to ask to borrow a fishing pole. I walked to his bed to wake him up, only to find him passed on. I was 9 years old.

I never talked to anybody about how I was feeling, just that I missed him, but not how I felt deep inside. The depression.

A year later, just a few days past the one-year anniversary, I made a permanent decision off a temporary emotion. I attempted suicide.

I thank God every day for finding me worthy enough to bring me back, and that I don’t get to decide when it’s my time to go.

I’m here to let you know, you are worthy! No matter how big or small your burden is, talk to someone. Don’t let depression win, there are and will be better days.

Find something you like doing when you feel sad. I go fishing, then think about all the good, and how blessed I truly am.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10-14 yr olds 

10-year-old boys are a ball of energy and complex emotions and often we don’t have any idea what’s going on inside their heads. This is what’s so worrisome.

We just don’t know. 50% of suicides have no previous signs so it’s not always possible to know when someone is having suicidal thoughts.

Some of the possible warning signs include:

  • Talking or writing about death or about feeling trapped with no way out
  • Feeling hopeless and withdrawing from family, friends and the community
  • Increasing drug and alcohol use
  • Giving away personal possessions
  • Doing dangerous, life threatening things
  • Having delusions or hallucinations
  • Regularly self-harming
  • Significant change in mood.

Triggers of youth suicide

  • Loss of an important person through death or divorce
  • Incest or child abuse
  • Bullying at school or in the workplace
  • A sense of failure at school or in relationships
  • The experience of discrimination, isolation and relationship conflicts with family, friends and others because the young person is gay or lesbian
  • The recent suicide of a friend or relative, or an anniversary of a suicide or the death of someone close to them.

As a parent, what can you do?

According to Better Health Victoria,

  • Listen and encourage them to talk and show that you are taking their concerns seriously.
  • Tell or show the person that you care.
  • Acknowledge their fears, despair or sadness.
  • Provide reassurance, but do not dismiss the problem.
  • Ask if they are thinking of hurting themselves or taking their own life, and if they have a plan.
  • Ensure they do not have access to lethal weapons or medications.
  • Stay with the person if they are at high risk of suicide.
  • Immediately tell someone else, preferably an adult.
  • Seek help from professionals, and offer to provide support.
  • Let them know where they can get support.
  • Provide contact numbers and assist them to call if necessary.

Try to avoid:

  • interrupting with stories of your own
  • panicking or becoming angry
  • being judgmental
  • telling them all the things they have to live for
  • offering too much advice.

Where to get help/find out more

Please also see our previous stories on suicide to be aware of the signs to watch out for in your tweens and teens.

Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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