Foust Law - December 2018



There are things we can do as parents to better understand when typical ups and downs of a teenager turn into something more. Here are some recommendations from 1. Don’t let your teen’s depression or anxiety snowball. 2. Listen — even when your teen is not talking. 3. Never shrug off threats of suicide as typical teenage melodrama. 4. Seek professional help right away. 5. Share your feelings. 6. Encourage your teen not to isolate himself or herself from family and friends. 7. Recommend exercise. 8. Urge your teen not to demand too much of himself or herself. 9. Remind your teen who is undergoing treatment not to expect immediate results. 10. If you keep guns at home, store them safely or move all firearms elsewhere until the crisis has passed. A CDC study indicates that for every suicide, there are 25 attempted suicides. Like most Americans, I have had someone very close to me attempt suicide. I have to tell you it came with what seemed to me like no warning. I guess you never know the roof is leaking until you go inside. I hope I am more understanding and better prepared if anyone else I love feels the same in the future.

Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I were married in 2013, Heather agreed to take on not only a husband but also two boys; Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. The boys are now 17 and 18 years old and face growing up in a world very different than the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. We are far from perfect parents, but we do our best. Our newsletter chronicles some of our successes and some of our less than stellar moments. We hope you can learn from these tips below so you can look out for your teen’s mental health. 10 THINGS PARENTS NEED TO UNDERSTAND

YOU NEVER KNOW THE ROOF IS LEAKING UNTIL YOU GO INSIDE Heather and I absolutely love to travel. We especially enjoy non-touristy places where you can get a feel for the local culture. I have not been able to travel as much as I’d like lately and have become an avid viewer of Anthony Bourdain’s shows “Parts Uknown,”“The Layover,” and “No Reservations.”These programs have allowed me to travel vicariously. Anthony Bourdain was insightful, interesting, and indignant — all characteristics I like very much. I was heartbroken to hear that he took his own life. I will likely never understand what causes this troubling human phenomenon, and I worry about my own kids, knowing just how difficult it can be to grow up.

Annually, one in five teenagers in the U.S. seriously considers suicide, according to data collected by the CDC. Around 8 percent of adolescents attempt suicide, representing around 1 million teenagers, of whom nearly 300,000 receive medical attention for their attempts. Sadly, 1,700 teenagers die by suicide each year. Suicide is the No. 2 cause of death for young people between 15 and 24 years of age. Unfortunately, the national trend shows a significant increase in the number of people who take their own lives. Between 1999 and 2016, a CDC study indicates that suicide rates have increased in nearly every state. Half of the states, including Montana, saw an increase of over 30 percent during that time.

- Lucas Foust

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