This edition of "Survivor Showcase" begins with a story from a journalism class at Wenatchee (Washington) High School. Reacting to an article in the town's newspaper titled "Suicide Coalition Shows Us How to Solve a Crisis," Brenna Visser, opinion editor for the school newspaper -- whose 21-year-old brother died by suicide last summer -- writes:
This obviously caught my attention, mostly for the word "solve." Solve, as if the complexity of someone's pain were to be decoded like a Rubik's Cube ... Every case is individual: Why my brother died, and why Mr. Riggs' son has died, and every other suicide, has its own story. And for everyone who has felt that loss knows that this crisis is far from "solved"...Brenna's faculty advisor, Dave Riggs, a survivor of his son's suicide, also weighs in -- then the two of them write:
We are treating suicide as the problem when it is the unbearable pain that a person experiences that is need of a solution. We can't "solve" a problem until we realize what the real problem is, and that is the complex way pain manifests within someone. There may not be a universal answer, but universal acknowledgement, kindness and respect for those who are struggling is imperative. Until we start dealing with the deeper issues, like mental illness, stress, etc., then there will be no improvement.