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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: suicide

Oct 3

Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013 & Video Contest

Posted By iamincontrol | October 3, 2013

We’re pulling a switch this month – our Bullying & Suicide post is trading places with our Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs post (check back next week for that post).  We couldn’t wait to share this information about the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013!  This year’s summit will be held on November 4, 2013 in Des Moines.

Why should you go?

Did you know that according to a 2012 survey, 57% of Iowa students said they had been bullied in school in the last 30 days?  That’s a huge percentage.  The goal of the summit is to talk about what can be done to prevent bullying, including what you can do as a bystander.  Speakers include Emily Bazelon, the author of “Sticks and Stones” , Deborah Temkin, the Bullying Prevention Manager at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, high school students speaking up about bullying prevention, and many others.  You can read the full agenda here.

This would be a great event for you to attend with one of your school’s clubs, so talk to your school administrators or a teacher to see if your group can attend.  If you register by October 19th, you will even get a free t-shirt.  Register here today!

Video Contest

You could win a $500 prize for your school by entering the video contest for the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit 2013.  You have one week left to enter!  The deadline for submitting your videos is Thursday, October 10th, 2013.

Go to this site for full details on the video contest.

Sep 12

Suicide: It’s Not the Only Option

Posted By iamincontrol | September 12, 2013

By Kassandra

When I was in middle and high school, I was the person that the “popular” people in my school would pick on.  I was the kid that spent more time on their homework than out spending time with friends. I was in all the “nerdy” stuff like band, National Honor Society and quiz bowl, but I was also in sports such as cross country, track and dance team. Due to the extras that I was in I never really fit in anywhere but was an easy target to be picked on.  I was picked on so much that by the time I was a freshman in high school I felt like there was no way out and no hope for things to get better.

By the end of the summer before I was to start my sophomore year of high school, I had a plan to kill myself.  I had everything in place and even had the day that I was going to kill myself picked out. Why did I have this all planned?  I felt like I was alone in the world.  Everything seemed really dark and that there was no hope of people stopping their bullying.  Also I had years of bad self-image and feeling inadequate to prevent me from trying to get help.

Your next question may be why am I still here if I had everything planned? The answer to that is because my sister found and read my diary. At the time I was furious at my sister for betraying my privacy, but now I’m extremely grateful to her.  By reading my diary my sister found my plan and went to my mom. They both confronted me about what I was going through.  I never told them the extent of my problems, but by talking to them I realized that suicide wasn’t the best way out.

Why Not to Think about Suicide

I know that if you are at the point of considering suicide you feel like there is no way out. I beg you to stop and think about where you are in life.  When I was at that point I was in high school and couldn’t imagine making it through three more years, but the truth was that I could. In a way, if I killed myself I had let the bullies win. I had let them get inside my head and bring me to seeing myself the way they did – as a freak and not someone that would fit in. Please, if you are considering suicide, get help. Don’t let the bullies win and please don’t cut your life short. You will do amazing things with your life even if you can’t see that now.

If you considering suicide or are experiencing bullying, please call Your Life Iowa at 1-855-581-8111 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).

There is help.

Aug 22

An Unexpected Loss

Posted By iamincontrol | August 22, 2013

By Emily

About a year and a half ago I had a friend and classmate commit suicide. His name was Calvin. He was only 19 years old and was attending college. He was such a talented young man. He was an amazing violin player and had a very strong passion for music. He was honestly the most kind/non-judgmental person that I’ve ever known. He was very unique and had so much going for him in life. He was voted most likely to change society during our senior year.

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. He was someone who I never expected would take his own life. I never saw him mad, sad or down a day in my life. He always was extremely positive and happy. This really has taught me that you never know what someone is going through. Anyone can put on a “mask” in front of other people. I always question what I could have done to help him. I know this isn’t something I can blame myself for because it wasn’t my fault, but what if I would’ve been a little kinder to him? What if I would’ve reached out to him and showed him I cared about him and what was going on in his life?

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Jul 11

Cutting 101

Posted By iamincontrol | July 11, 2013

By MaryCutting

Meet Beth.  Beth is an achieving 15-year-old teen girl in her sophomore year of high school. She has a solid group of friends, studies hard in school and gets good grades. Beth is involved in many activities but she admits she doesn’t really enjoy them anymore, she feels burned out.

But what you don’t know about Beth is that she sometimes cuts herself, in the privacy of her bedroom or bathroom, “just to feel relief or sometimes, just to feel something.”

Yes, cutting.  It is becoming more known in society today and many people are asking what it is, why people choose to cut and what can be done to help.  Cutting is a serious form of self-injury that involves cutting oneself to the point of bleeding.

Why do people choose to cut?

Many youth today are struggling to cope with extreme levels of stress in school, in their families, and in their peer relationships. Some of these youth are overscheduled and being hurried through their adolescent years. Teens have become vulnerable to our toxic, media-driven world. Being in front of a computer or TV screen has become the “norm” and more important than spending time with family and friends. Adolescent girls are being bombarded by images in the media about how they should look and act. Especially for young women, failure to live up to these idealized images can lead to developing an eating disorder and/or engaging in self-harming behavior.

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Jun 20

No Shame

Posted By iamincontrol | June 20, 2013

Teenage boy needing help
By Anonymous

My Teenage Ignorance

As a teenager, I thought I was pretty clever; a “sarcasm queen.”  Unfortunately, my sarcasm was only funny at the expense of others, especially those who needed “help.”  I thought counselors were pointless and anyone could do it. I mean, all they do is have their clients lie on couches and just repeatedly ask “And how does that make you feel?” right?  Wrong.  First, sadly they don’t let you lay on a couch and second, the work they do is irreplaceable in terms of helping those with mental illness.  In my ignorance, I blinded myself from seeing that I was in need of help.  I thought I was too strong to need a counselor.

Search for Happiness

My harsh sarcastic jokes stemmed from my own insecurity.  I strived to “fit in” with friends and boyfriends while abandoning my true self.  I abandoned my morals and values thinking I’d be happier if I just gave in to peer pressure.  It turns out a life full of partying and sexual activity is completely empty.  I didn’t find true happiness at all; I found myself feeling as if there was nowhere else to turn.  There wasn’t true happiness at home either…

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May 9

Taking a Stand

Posted By iamincontrol | May 9, 2013

Not cool
By Anonymous

I never really had the confidence to stand up for myself and defend myself early in high school.  Some people in my class used to say I put up with crap better than anyone they knew.  Every time someone would make a fat joke or a joke about having “man boobs” I would just smile or laugh it off.  I was covering up my true feelings.  During my freshman year of high school, I was embarrassed to take my shirt of in front of other people, and when I went swimming I always kept it on.  People would always look at me walking down the hall and they would yell names making fun of my weight.  Eventually as my freshmen year went on I allowed myself to fit the role of the fat kid.  I would challenge people to eating contests, and I would always elaborate upon how much food I ate at places.  Every time I contributed to my ‘’role’’ more and more, people felt it was okay to make fat jokes.  As the year wound down I felt displaced and uncomfortable with just being myself.  I felt alone, and I sometimes wondered what if my life were to just end.

When the school year was out, I made a promise to myself that I would accept myself and start to stick up for myself no matter what.  During that summer I played baseball, and every time the guys would make fun of me I just told them I am fat and I am okay with myself.  After every away game we would always stop and get something to eat.  I always brought my own lunch, but I still ate with the team.  Eventually the guys started to lay off me and respect me in a way they had not previously.  This made me even more confident in myself.  I started to talk to people more and make friends which I still have to this day.  When people say it gets better, it really does.  There’s gonna be times in your life where people are going to try to put you down, but you have to have the confidence to know better because you’re the only one that knows the truth about who you are.

Apr 9

Thoughts on Self-Hatred

Posted By iamincontrol | April 9, 2013

One Iowa teen shared her feelings about low self-esteem, and even hating who she is sometimes.

One of the things that I’ve always struggled with is self-hatred. You know? Sometimes I feel like I’m not enough, or I’m saying/doing the wrong thing? Maybe people may not like me because sometimes I don’t like myself. I mean it’s like when you look in the mirror, are you satisfied with what you see? With the person that you are. I’m constantly wondering if there are things I do that make people not like me. If I look okay, if people can truly accept me for who I am…if I can truly accept myself for who I am.

For teens who feel like me sometimes, my advice is to just be around people who love you and always tell you they do. Always look in the mirror every day and tell yourself one thing that keeps you going and is worth living for. Words do hurt, but stay strong. Haters are always waiting to see you fall, so keep your head up and show them that no matter what they say, you’re better than that.

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Apr 4

A Second Look at Life

Posted By iamincontrol | April 4, 2013

By Kelsy

My life was going great. I had a great family and friends. Life was going in the right direction. However things just started to turn around and head towards a place I had never been before. Have you ever felt lost, confused or hopeless about everything in your life? Because I started to.

Towards the beginning of my junior year of high school I started to just feel blah all the time. I started to experience feeling of sadness. I thought it was normal, you know when you just get into a funk. But then I started thinking what was the point in life, I was hopeless about life. I started questioning my life and where I was heading. I began to push my friends and family away. My mother learned that she was pregnant and both my parents were going through accepting that they were going to be parents again, I didn’t want to bother them with what I was feeling. I remember just arguing with them about the dumbest things that didn’t even matter. I felt so isolated, so alone.

I am not the type of person to express my feelings, so I was never able to open up to anybody. I felt emotionless and was so annoyed by everyone. I wanted to feel something, anything so maybe somebody would notice how much trouble I was having with everything. I wanted to feel pain. I no longer cared if I lived or died. So I started to overdose on pain medication which does nothing but give you a stomachache and destroy the lining of your liver.  I did this a couple of times, always ending up on the floor of the bathroom throwing everything up. At this point it seemed like it could only go downhill for me.

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Jan 25

Your Life Iowa: A New Iowa Bullying & Suicide Resource

Posted By iamincontrol | January 25, 2013

By Mark

Inspired by youth who feel they’ve run out of options and parents and educators who can’t find the answers, a new site called Your Life Iowa was launched during the Governor’s Bullying Prevention Summit in Des Moines on November 27th, 2012.  Your Life Iowa is a new “go-to” resource where teens and adults can find the answers they need about bullying and suicide. 

We hope you will take advantage of this great new resource and will call, text, or chat with someone from Your Life Iowa if you are thinking about suicide or are being bullied.  You can call their help line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 855-581-8111, and soon, you will be able to text that number as well (we’ll let you know when that happens).  You can also use their online chat feature to talk to someone between 7:30 PM and midnight Monday through Thursday.  Trained counselors can provide you or someone you know with guidance and support about bullying and will give critical help to anyone who feels they’ve run out of options and who is considering suicide. 

Check out their website at  As soon as you get there, you can click on the link “For Teens” to get helpful information about bullying and suicide support, including what to do if you know someone who is being bullied or who is having suicidal thoughts.

Take control!  Call, click or text  for help with bullying and suicide.

Dec 13

Suicide Prevention: Asking the Question

Posted By iamincontrol | December 13, 2012

By Danny & SamDepressed teenage boy

Among high school students, 1 out of 6 consider suicide.

You may have heard another person say that considering suicide is a sign of weakness. Actually, that is not true; there are many reasons why people consider or attempt suicide, but being a weak person is not one of them.

If you are worried that a friend will harm his or herself, it’s important to ask this question: Have you had any thoughts about hurting or killing yourself? Sometimes this question scares people, and the answer can be frightening. If you are uncomfortable asking this question, tell a trusted teacher, coach, or counselor about your concern.

What should you do if you or someone else says “yes” to the question?

  1. Remember that thinking about suicide is not a sign of weakness.
  2. Listen carefully.
  3. Help them contact support (for instance, a counselor).
  4. If the situation is urgent, don’t hesitate to call 911.

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