Real Life Case: In the mind of the 14 year old

As a therapist, I have always wondered what would the world be like if we were all trained to assess (or at the very least learn how to notice/observe) signs and symptoms of mental health issues - can you imagine how many accidents, incidents and terrible events we can prevent?

Take for example the recent heartbreaking event that happened:

The suspect was a 14 year old boy.

When I read that, I was honestly saddened and truly shocked.

Some of the thoughts that rushed through my mind:

  • What were some of his thoughts before the incident happened?
  • What was going on for him in his life before the incident?
  • Did nobody notice any signs and symptoms before he decided to take matters into his hands?
  • Who were the people closest to him and why did they not see the signs?
  • What were his teachers, classmates or even parents like with him before this?

And many more questions that flooded my mind.

I wonder, again, how many times we ourselves have missed the signs and symptoms in our friends, family members or the people around us - and carried on with our own lives, without bothering to ask a simple “Hey, are you okay?”

Imagine if we had asked a simple question to check in and see how they’re doing, I believe many such incidents would have been prevented.

Here are my questions for you to think about and if you’re willing to, share them with us:

  • What are some of your thoughts on noticing signs and symptoms in others?
  • Do you think it is very difficult to notice the signs and symptoms?
  • What do you think can help lay people notice and understand signs and symptoms before things escalate?

Let’s hear and learn from one another about signs and symptoms, and how we can do our best to prevent them.