Tragedy strikes our youth

Two of our children have decided that things were so bad they had to take their own lives. It's a tragic thought that sends shivers down the spine of any parent. I have no idea what the parents of the two recent Valley children must be going through, but they should know that we are all thinking of them.

While contemplating what must have been going through their heads and trying to understand why the tragedies occurred, it hit me that we need to work harder on identifying signs that a child, or anyone for that matter, may be going down a path toward taking their own life.

I have always had a connection to youth in the Valley through Little League, junior football or from shooting 11 years worth of Mount Si sporting events. I have the opportunity to interact with kids every day and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. I would hope I can provide support for whatever activity they are engaged in, but in light of the two recent deaths, maybe I should make a stronger effort.

So my challenge to you - adults and youth - as Valley residents, to encourage your friends and those you interact with, in whatever they do. Let them know they are the reason we love living here. They are the reason that we keep in touch with what's going on at the high school and make the effort to go to their games, plays and concerts.

I hope we have seen the last of youth suicide in the Valley for a very long time.

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