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teen mental health

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio and Andres Ayrton via Canva

Man's response to a child being told to kill himself is so wholesome

Editor's Note: This story discusses suicide. If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Being a teenager is hard enough on its own but when you couple it with the rise of social media and sites like Omegle, it becomes even harder. Omegle is a real-time video platform that's sort of like pulling the lever on a slot machine. You never know who will appear in the little box in front of you, nor do you know what they'll say or do.

Cyber experts have warned parents of the dangers of websites like Omegle but as long as the site exists, teens will find a way to use it. A recorded video of an Omegle interaction recently went viral when posted on the Instagram page Soul Seeds for All. A young teen named Jesse, who looks uncannily like a young Corey Feldman, appears on the screen of a guy that appears to be early to mid-20s.

As soon as the Omegle video appears, Jesse informs the man, "the last person I talked to immediately told me to kill myself and then left."

Ashraf, the man listening to the boy responding in such a kind way that it's bringing people to tears. Instead of closing out the window or dismissing what the teen said, Ashraf says, "don't do that," then proceeded to intentionally build him up. He engaged the Jesse in conversation about his interests and enthusiastically told him that he looked like a cool guy, ending the video call by saying, "I hope you have an amazing life."

You could visibly seen Jesse's demeanor change the longer her talked to Ashraf. People in the comments were inspired by the man's interaction with the teen, some were even brought to tears.

"He just saved that boys life! So beautiful! Ash, you’re a beautiful soul," another writes.

"Well, sh*t, this has me sobbing crying. Beautiful words and a great example of just simply being kind to others," someone praises.

"I’m crying at how powerful this is. You could see the light come back into his eyes by the end of the conversation," a commenter writes.

"Ashraf in Arabic means most noble one. I’d say that fits," one person says.

Sometimes all people need is for someone to show they care. You can watch the entire wholesome exchange below.

Mental Health

Teachers are opening up about mental health struggles, asking students to use them as a resource

"Depending on what you're comfortable with, open up to them, be a little bit vulnerable with them."

Teachers encourage students to open up about mental health in video

Mental health affects everyone, even people that are in professions who's sole job is to help others. Yup, that means, nurses, doctors, teachers and even therapists can have mental health challenges that they have to manage every day. One group of teachers are working to normalize mental health struggles by offering advice for students.

The teachers from different parts of America teamed up with PBS NewsHour to help teens understand that they're safe people to talk to about their mental health.

"I want to tell all students struggling with mental health that we are here for you and that all teachers were teenagers once. We all did grow up and we have experience of what it's like to be in middle school, to be in high school and that we can see the struggles that you're going through," Holly Goldberg, a teacher in Fort Lauderdale, Florida shares. "Growing up is not easy and we want you to know that we're here to listen to you and here to help you."

It can be easy for teens to forget that adults weren't born as adults and that while the technology has changed, a lot of the teenage experience is still the same. Having the reminder that trusted people may understand what they're going through can be helpful. Another teacher in the PBS video admits that he's open with his students about his own mental health struggles and find that helps build trust to foster communication.

"Depending on what you're comfortable with, open up a bit with them, be a little vulnerable. My students, we always talk about it. I struggle with panic disorder and so I'm struggling with some of the same things they struggle with. So letting them know, hey you're not alone," Robert Casas, a teacher in San Diego, California reveals.

Teens are experiencing mental health challenges at higher rates than previous years. Teachers being open with them about their own experiences or just being available for these conversations can help teens have a safe outlet.

Watch the entire heartwarming video below:


'Sextortion' is a disturbing trend taking the lives of teens, and parents are speaking out

These teens are seeing no way out and parents may want to take heed.

The disturbing trend of sextortion is taking the lives of teens.

Editor's Note: This story discusses suicide. If you are having thoughts about taking your own life or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

There has been a quiet trend going on among teens that has recently started to get more attention. It's not something silly or some made-up social media trend; it's a serious issue that has caused teenagers to choose to die by suicide after they fall victim. Sextortion has been running rampant over the past year, and teenagers, especially teen boys between the ages of 14-17 are the target.

Someone pretends to be a teenage girl who is interested in the boy after connecting via SnapChat, Instagram, or some other social media site. Once they gain the boys' trust, they convince them to send inappropriate pictures, which many of them do. Yes, they know they shouldn't, but teens are impulsive and this person has won their trust. As soon as the pictures are sent, the "girl" then asks for money in exchange to keep the photos private.

By this time, the impersonator has already taken screenshots of the boy's social media accounts, including friends lists and people they tag in posts. If the teens send money, the perpetrator will only ask for more while continuing to hang those inappropriate pictures over their heads. This has proven to be dangerous.

The teens panic once they find out the person is really going to send the photos to their family and friends, which has resulted in some teens choosing suicide.

One family has taken to the media to warn of the dangers of sextortion and encourage parents to talk to their children. John DeMay and Jennifer Buta lost their son Jordan after he was a victim of sextortion during his senior year of high school.

"He was handsome, he was popular, he was the prom king," DeMay told Good Morning America.

The person Jordan was communicating with was an adult man from Nigeria according to court documents.

"He drained his bank accounts as much as he could," DeMay said. "He's [Jordan] believing that all these images are going to his friends' mothers and his friends, and it just threw him into a tailspin."

The responses to the teen when he expressed to the scammer that he was going to end his life were particularly cruel, and within a few minutes, the teen completed suicide. His parents have since been on a mission to help other teens and parents.

"Have an open conversation about the dangers of social media in general and specifically sextortion. Let your kids know, if it does happen, go to a trusted adult and let them know this is happening and get their help," Buta told GMA.

Sextortion preys on teens knowing they have less impulse control and more likely to not only send them pictures if they believe they're talking to another teen, but send them money. This results are heartbreaking but hopefully with more parents speaking out, other teens' lives will be saved. You can watch their whole interview below.


Mom's urgent plea to parents after her daughter is hospitalized for drug-induced psychosis

"I know we teach our children about accepting things from strangers. But how often are we telling them about accepting things from friends or people they do know?"

Mom pleads with parents after her daughter is hospitalized.

When parents give their teens the "drug talk," they hope they listen, but there's no guarantee. You can talk about taking unknown substances and the dangers that can occur, but what happens when your child thinks they're testing their boundaries with a "safe" substance? What if they received whatever they've ingested from someone they know personally?

What's safe and what's not safe isn't always so cut and dry. Teenagers are known to experiment with boundaries and sometimes that includes drugs and alcohol. Teenagers can easily overdose on illicit substances and some don't survive. According to the CDC, overdoses among 10 to 19-year-olds increased by 109% from 2019-2021 while deaths involving fentanyls increased by 182%.

Experimentation with edible marijuana left one woman's 14-year-old daughter hospitalized, and she's ringing the alarm for other parents to take note.

"On March 15th, my 14-year-old daughter was not acting like herself. I felt that she needed food and that she needed to get some rest," Stacy Wylie, founder and CEO of Dope Beauty Cosmetics, explains in a TikTok video. "By March 17th, that Friday, she was completely manic. We decided to take her to the emergency room and she was promptly admitted. She had an admitting blood pressure of 145/99, and her heart beats per minute were 110."

Wylie shares that after being transferred to another hospital and having more tests run, it was discovered that her daughter ate an edible she received from a friend. The edible was laced with an unknown substance according to Wylie, and while she doesn't think it was done maliciously, the mom says that her daughter is still in the hospital.

"Physically, they stabilized her, but mentally she was at a very heightened state of psychosis," Wylie explains.

Drug-induced psychosis can occur when you take too much of a substance or have an adverse reaction to mixing drugs, as well as when a person has an underlying mental health issue, according to American Addiction Centers. When kids are experimenting with drugs, developing psychosis isn't something that may be on their radar, but Wylie is hoping to use her daughter's experience to help others.

Watch her plea below:


#fyp #prayers #teensupport