Latina, 12 years old writes a farewell letter and attempts suicide by throwing herself from the school window”. What’s going on? Why didn’t anyone do anything?
In Latina, our city, last week a young girl of just twelve, after writing a farewell note, attempted suicide by throwing herself from the window of her school. The lawn below the window cushioned the fall avoiding the death of the young woman who is now hospitalized. This is one of those news that hits you like a punch to the stomach maybe because of her young age or maybe because she is a student like us. The next morning, in classroom, we were all a bit upset and so we talked a lot about it to try to understand how we can get to make such an absurd gesture that certainly concerns mental health.
Typing “mental health” the online dictionary reports: Mental health, a broad concept that refers to a state of general well-being of the individual and does not end in the mere absence of pathology or discomfort of any kind … In short, it is something complicated that is not limited to being crazy or not. Yet continuing to search we read that the death rate among adolescents is already alarming, but if we analyze the data, we discover that we are facing a real emergency, that is, the number of suicides and psychic disorders among young people are constantly increasing.
To learn more, we read an interview with the psychiatrist and medical director ASL Roma 1, Francesca Fagioli, who denounces the very few resources that the State provides to psychotherapy in the public service. In fact, there are few possibilities for people who need them, especially for those who cannot afford an expert. There are indeed benefits (which, however, do not help in the long term) proposed by the State, such as the Psychologist Bonus (which reimburses only 6 sessions in all) or also proposed by schools, such as the listening desk (sometimes even not present or neglected, but very popular with students in the schools where it is active). It should be understood, however, that helping young people in difficulty today serves, first of all, to prevent any future problems for the person himself and the community in which he lives. The girl from Latina who attempted suicide, for example, threw herself out of the window in front of the whole class and the two professors who were taking over, but no one understood the situation and stopped her in time. We know from articles online that the girl had several family problems and that for some time she had been behaving in a “strange” way, yet no one understood the gravity of the situation. Maybe her parents couldn’t help her, but she had friends, teachers who saw her every day. How is it possible that they did not notice anything? If maybe the girl had someone to talk to she would not have thought that suicide could be the only solution, she could have imagined a possibility, a hope … Yet this did not happen and the girl threw herself out of the window without speaking, without being helped.
Maybe no one really wanted to see this girl …. everyone just looked … without feeling his pain.
Unfortunately it often happens that, when we adolescents try to communicate something that torments us, apart from that it is not at all easy to express ourselves, we are not really listened to, as if our difficulties were considered trivial and obvious stages of growth, always less important than the problems of adults! In short, if a twelve-year-old girl can think that the only solution to her pain is suicide, there is a problem that concerns everyone.
If there were, instead, easy access to psychotherapy services, without prejudice, perhaps people could begin to think that asking for help is not only possible but also a courageous gesture for themselves and for others. Of course it is true that at twelve you are still a child, many things you can not recognize … But if we were used from an early age to look people in the face, to understand them, to talk about us without fear … if every now and then we could get out of our small reality, maybe we too would be able, perhaps together with experts (psychologists, professors, etc …) to help people who believe they cannot be happy.
Maria Vittoria Straface
(Classe 2^I, Liceo Scientifico G.B. Grassi di Latina)