Depressed and Dying Teen suicide is rising at alarming rates. In fact, according to a recent survey, 13.6 per cent of surveyed high school students in the US and a whopping 46 per cent of surveyed high school students in Canada have created a plan to die. Here’s how to spot the signs of depression and suicidal thoughts in your teens, so you can get them help before it’s too late. By Dr. Allison Forti Every day, we turn on the news or log on to our social media and see stories of teen suicide. Our children are killing themselves more and more every day. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10-24. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of teen suicide have steadily risen in the U.S. since 2007 from 9.7 deaths per 100,000 to 13.15 deaths per 100,000 for ages 15-24. This alarming trend also reveals increases in suicidal ideation and behaviour. According to the latest Youth Risk Behaviour Survey, which is conducted every two years during the spring semester and provides data representative of Grade 9 through Grade 12 students in public and private schools throughout the United States, 31.5 per cent of high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness daily for two or more weeks over the past year. The same survey revealed 17.2 per cent of high school students have considered suicide, 13.6 per cent have created a plan for suicide, and 2.4 per cent have actually injured themselves in suicide attempts. In Canada, our teens are faring no better. Kids Help Phone surveyed 1,319 teens aged 13 to 18 across the country. The finding were published in a report called “Teens Talk 2016,” and included this alarming statistic — 22 per cent of those who responded, seriously considered attempting suicide in the last 12 months. Moreover, 46 per cent had formulated a plan with girls (67 per cent) being twice as likely as boys (33 per cent) to consider taking their own lives. Being aware of the signs of suicidal ideation may help parents protect their teens. Teens most at risk for suicide are those with a past history of substance abuse and mental illness (e.g., depression). If you think your teen might be depressed, it’s important to get him or her the help she or he needs. Here are eight signs to look
10 Must-Haves For Back to School From water bottles to skin care products to shoes and snacks, have your teens looking and feeling their very best for the new school year. This list has all the necessary things that they need to be fully prepared for anything that comes their way! S’well Water Bottle The perfect storage for hot or cold drinks, this durable water bottle lives up to the hype. With tons of colours and patterns to choose from, staying hydrated will be the fashionable thing to do. $45 at Indigo Clarisonic Mia 2 This is an absolute essential for teens to keep them looking fresh and feeling confident. The Clarisonic Mia 2 is a gentle machine that cleanses pores and keeps skin looking healthy and glowing. Comes in Pink and White $131 at Clarisonic.c. https://www.clarisonic.ca/en/face-brushes/mia-2-facial-cleansing-brush/CL367.html Adidas VL Court 2.0 Shoes These shoes are a staple for any teen’s wardrobe. With cushy rubber soles, these comfortable shoes are sure to be a popular choice for your teen. Comes in Black and Red. $49 at Mountain Equipment Co-op Simply Protein Kids Bars They are healthy snacks, peanut-nut free with quality ingredients and absolutely no artificial flavours. Only 4g of protein and 4g of sugar. These make the perfect, healthy alternative in your kid’s lunch. Just $5.99 a pack and available at Walmart, Loblaws, Metro and Bulk Barn. Mesh Shower Tote This is the perfect shower accessory with numerous compartments and a waterproof pocket to carry all your teen’s shower necessities. $14.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond Fjällräven Kånken Water Resistant Backpack These backpacks have been so popular with teens and with good reason. With narrow back straps and a handle to carry the backpack, this is a lightweight alternative backpack to the ones on the market right now. With a large main compartment and two side pockets, this pack offers ample space for all their stuff. $99.99 Yoobi Mini Supply Kit This little mini-office is a necessity for back to school. Housing everything from a pencil sharpener and scissors to a stapler, staple remover AND staples and more! It’s got everything! $9.99 at Indigo Keepsakes 2.0 Cloud Peak Boots Perfect for those chilly fall and early winter days, these boots have a soft suede-textured microfibre material and a cushy memory foam for the ultimate comfort. They won't mind walking to and from class in these comfy and stylish boots! $63 at Skechers. Lipper Bamboo Revolving Desk Organizer Teens can keep their desk essentials organized with this handy desk organizer. With
6 Gadgets Your Teen Will Love for Back to School With all kinds of new tech coming out every year, your teen is bound to want something or the other and if it helps them get ahead at school – even better! Whether they are just listening to music on the go or writing essays, this list has everything they need for a successful school year. Airpods Revolutionizing the way students use headphones, Airpods are wireless and connect to iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs seamlessly. $219 at Apple.ca iPad Pro More powerful than most PC laptops and are extremely easy to use. The Apple Pencil feels natural and responsive on the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard connecting easily for typing notes, essays and emails. Starts at $869 at Apple.ca Wireless Speaker This Outdoor Technology BuckShot 2.0 Wireless Speaker from MEC comes with a rubber-bar mount that allows you to mount to your bike handle bars or dune buggy role cages. It also has a built-in speakerphone so your teen can take calls on the go! $49 at Mountain Equipment Co-op. Fujifilm Wireless Square Mobile Printer With Polaroids and photography being all the rage among teens, this gadget is perfect. Snap pictures with your phone or a compatible Fujifilm camera and this wireless printer will print immediately. It’s completely portable and comes with a rechargeable battery. $249 at Best Buy Tablet Stand With full 210 degrees rotation, this tablet stand is perfect for writing essays, watching movies, or simply having a safe place to store the device. $23.99 at Amazon.ca Reading Book Light For a book that your teen just can’t put down, or late-night study sessions, this travel-size book light is perfect. Comes with a sturdy, bendy arm that clips to any hardcover or paperback. $10.95 at Indigo.
6 Decor Items for Their Dorm Make your teen’s dorm room feel like home with these fun finds sure to liven up their new space! From sprays to water clocks, we have handpicked a diverse list just in time for back to school! Room Spray This will become an instant favourite for your teen. Refreshes any dorm room with the sweet scent of fall. $7.50 at Bath and Body Works Neon Lights A wonderfully bright addition to any study space – choose from a cat, a heart and a cupcake design. These neon light decorations feature modern LED technology for a warm steady glow. $22 at Indigo stores Calendar Chalkboard Perfect for organizing the week, your teen is sure to appreciate having this in their dorm room. Includes rose gold clips at the top for mounting notes. $34 at Urban Outfitters Water Clock For the teen majoring in environmental studies! This clock uses water to run and batteries and electricity are never needed – only tap water. $33.80 at Amazon.ca Floor Pillow These are essential for gatherings with friends or late-night study sessions. Comes in an assortment of fabrics and colours. $59 at Urban Outfitters Lap Desk Whether your teen likes to lounge on the bed or the floor, this lap desk is perfect for laptops or notebooks. $24 at Indigo stores.
3 Reasons to go to The Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 Exhibit Have you thought about some places you might want to visit this summer? If so, here’s a site worth traveling to. Just picture being surrounded by luscious plants and flowers while gazing at the most beautiful sculptures of Gatineau, and spending some much needed time with your teen. From now until October 15th The Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 exhibit is open to the public for viewing. This year’s theme is “A Marvelous Voyage” and consists of 45 magnificent floral pieces surrounding Jacques-Cartier Park. This exhibit is a must-see, with more than 5.5 million plants used to design such majestic sculptures each exhibiting a piece of Canadian history. Need a reason to take your teen? We have three. It encourages Canadian history Your teen will benefit from the history behind some of these figures such as The Man Who Planted Trees, The Drum Dancer, The Howling Wolf, and Mother Earth, just to name a few. Each sculpture represents a story, every piece brings the essence of the story alive in a remarkable, profound way that’s breathtaking to the eyes and engages questions that’ll manifest the curiosity in your teen to learn more. History has made a huge impact on the pieces they’ll witness throughout the exhibit; the plaques represent the story behind each sculpture to encourage learning every step of the way. It exposes teens to art Another great reason to bring your teen to the exhibit is for the exposure to art they’ll experience. 45 different pieces surround the park, all offering something quite unique, such as the Bird Tree: a sculpture that represents as many as 50 endangered species. This piece is 52-ft high and weighs over 100 tonnes. An astounding 350,000 plants were used to create such magnificent work that raises the awareness of such talents from the creators who have taken mountain climbing and trapeze courses to perfect the trimming of the trees. Whether it’s plants or flowers, each sculpture is handcrafted into something quite breathtaking that should be witnessed in real time. The sculptures have a way of sparking up creativity or inspiration and that’s something we want our teens to exercise, especially during the summer when all they want to do is shut their brains off and relax. It’s a perfect way to keep their minds stimulated. It fosters bonding time Finally, the third reason you should visit the Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 exhibit
4 Reasons To Take Your Teen To Clear Lake, Manitoba Families looking to experience a quintessential Canadian beach town need look no further than Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. As soon as you enter the log cabin-looking gates of the provincial park, you will be transported to a place that’s packed with adventure, wildlife, amazing food and scenery that will leave an imprint on your memory for years to come. Surrounded by lush forest, Wasagaming, otherwise known as Clear Lake, is located about three hours northwest of Winnipeg. During the summer, the hotspot is bustling with vacationers — young and old. If you’re looking to impress your tween and teen with a family getaway they won’t soon forget, don’t miss out on these four things to do and see in Clear Lake. The Lakehouse Before you begin exploring the area, stake your basecamp at The Lakehouse. Located in the heart of the main stretch of Wasagaming, just steps away from the beach, this boutique hotel is not only the perfect place to stay, but it also serves as a hotbed for entertainment. Whether they are staying there or not, the main lobby is bustling with vacationers lined up at the ice cream, coffee and smoothie bar. The adjoining lounge, fitted with sink-into chocolate leather lounge chairs, a cozy fireplace and reclaimed wood bar and tables, is the ideal setting for the lodge’s trivia, boozy bingo and live music nights. In the back of the resort, where you access the hotel rooms, is two hot tubs, barbecue stations, and sitting/lounging areas, all underneath a canopy of twinkle lights, that look nothing less than magical on a warm summer’s night. The rooms are comfortable and contemporary with reclaimed wood headboards, brightly coloured furniture and convenient amenities every family needs, such as a microwave and fridge. Don’t leave without picking up a Lakehouse souvenir — the stylish logo is printed on everything from candles and coffee cups to T-shirts and sweaters. Clear Lake Marina You can’t help but be drawn to the crystal clear waters of Clear Lake. It’s the perfect place to swim, water ski, wake-board, canoe, and paddleboard. To soak in the scenery from a whole new perspective, head to the Clear Lake Marina where you can rent everything from a motorboat to a paddle boat or take the family on a dinner or sunset cruise on the Martese. Not only will your teen capture some
5 Reasons Why You Should Watch "13 Reasons Why" With Your Teen Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has gained an incredible amount of popularity and criticism ever since its debut in 2017. The show tackles difficult issues like sexual assault, suicide, gun violence and bullying. Because of the explicit content of the show, parents have remained wary about their children watching it. However, Gary Direnfeld, counselor for over 35 years, says parents should not only let their teens watch the show but they should watch it with them. Here’s why. YOU CAN DECODE WHAT’S HAPPENING: The first reason to watch it together would be to help your teen decode some of what is happening on screen. “Sometimes watching intense, graphic scenes can be traumatic for people and it can overwhelm them,” says Direnfeld. “Having a parent there to help interpret what is going on, to provide support and emotional safety, can help the child integrate the experience without it being traumatic.” YOU CAN ASK HOW IT AFFECTS THEM: Talking to your child about how the show makes them feel is another good reason to watch it together. “Asking about the kind of impact that it has on your child is important because they could be going through something similar and it would be unhealthy for them to go through it alone,” says Direnfeld. “The thing that 13 Reasons Why teaches us is that children are exposed to explicit and extreme material on the Internet and we want to help them cope with that stream of material before they are actually exposed to it.” YOU CAN ASK WHAT THEY ARE GOING THROUGH: Watching the show together can be a catalyst to discovering what your teen is going through. Some teens suffer from anxiety or depression or have gone through traumatic experiences and may feel shame and embarrassment, but having a parent to talk to offers them a way to figure those experiences out. They can learn how to manage and respond. YOU CAN LEARN ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES AT SCHOOL: Watching the show together gives parents a chance to ask their teen about their experiences at school, while also being able to instill their own morals and values, says Direnfeld. “Regardless of how a drama is critiqued, the explicit content is still there, and it exposes our children to behaviour that can be frightening and overwhelming,” he says. “From my perspective, it is what
Teenagers are the most misunderstood age group. They are often perceived as lazy, unintelligent, disrespectful, and hard to understand. There are plenty of things that parents can take into account when speaking with their teen. Acting like the boss of every conversation can drive a teen away from being honest and open about their ideas. This can disable the parent’s goal of understanding. Maybe even learn about the adult they are blossoming into. It’s important to listen in order to understand what’s on your teen’s mind. You might be surprised what you will hear. 1. Teens want to strive for a better future The present is dealing with a lot more difficult issues around the world. Most teens want to get involved in creating change in the topics they are passionate about. But, keep in mind that every teen has a different way on how they will get their point across — whether it’s through protest, an art or a speech. There are many ways to create a powerful statement. Good change is incredibly important for the future ahead. Remember encouragement is a plus for your teen and they are more likely to try with the support of family and friends they can trust. 2. Some teens suffer from mental illness Back in the older generation, mental illnesses were seen as excuses or made-up nonsense. However, those are false statements. Mental illness affects everyone, especially teens. The struggles of dealing with mental illness can make everyday things difficult to get through; it can be something as simple as communicating with another person or finishing a small task in class. It’s difficult to breathe when your mind is constantly nagging at you and telling you things about yourself that cause you to feel terrible. It’s important to know that your teen is really trying but might be afraid to ask for help. Make sure if you notice anything wrong, you let them know you’re there to help. 3. Teens are sensitive for a reason Unfortunately, as much as we don’t want to admit, prejudice is still around. Anyone of colour, sexuality and mental or physical disability can relate. Verbal and physical attacks can hurt. Teens understand this well and want to speak out about it. Problem with that is they are labeled as oversensitive. The issues such as prejudice should not be taken lightly. These issues being fought for the way they are shows that teens care