There is a moving article over on the BBC website by a father concerning his son Barney’s suicide. I suppose it has an extra poignancy coming ahead of Fathers day. Dick Moore writes:
Twenty months have passed since that awful day. There has been much soul-searching and many tears. Each of us – my wife and I, and Barney’s three brothers – deal with Barney’s death in our own ways. I find the word “death” difficult to dwell upon.
Waves of grief still roll in from time to time and there isn’t a day that goes by that a memory is not stirred, a wistful thought provoked by a smell or a song or a photograph. But we are OK; we have survived and, perhaps oddly, we are able to enjoy life again.
I knew that suicide rates among adolescent and teenage boys were high but I had no idea that suicide was the highest rate of death amongst males aged 17-34. That is sobering. What can be done? The article has many helpful suggestions, but a key one which resonated for me is that young men frequently need someone to talk too outside of their immediate family, and that person is getting hard to find in our increasingly fragmented mobile society – a world of facebook friends and faux community.
This week at St Giles we welcome Andy Wright as our new Youthworker, one of his roles at St GIles will be to be a ‘safe person’ young men can talk to, in and outside of our church community. Let’s begin praying for him and supporting him in that valuable and challenging role.