Sierra Sun My Turn: A cry for awareness | SierraSun.com
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Sierra Sun My Turn: A cry for awareness

Amy Edgett
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; and#8220;A Tribute to Andreand#8221; brought a flood of dialogue to our community. Some caring, some condemning.

In retrospect, the headline may not match the content, true. However, it took strong parents, who suffered the greatest of losses and#8212; burying a child and#8212; to submit an intimate look at their sonand#8217;s life, which ended in suicide. They felt, as we do at the Sierra Sun, the topic is not to be swept under the rug. Publishing the article immediately, as requested by Andreand#8217;s mother and#8212; not by his therapist, Kimball Pier and#8212; is an attempt to address a growing, global tragedy and possibly prevent another family from enduring the unfathomable loss of a son or daughter.

From natural disasters, crumbling economies, unemployment to cyber bullying, our youth bears weighted burdens not experienced for generations. According to a 2009 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death.

Our community felt the tremors of two teen suicides during the 2010-11 school year and an adult suicide just this past weekend. Kimballand#8217;s column is a sensitive, compassionate plea to understand what fears may grip our students, our athletes, our children. A cry for awareness.

Although we may or may not suffer from depression, like cancer, a great percentage of us have been affected by mental illness. Family or friends or coworkers who have committed suicide.

As an editor, the decision to publish this item, with attribution and the explanation it came from the family, is correct. As a mother of a 13-year-old boy, it exposes a heart-wrenching tragedy, that brings me to grief, sorrow and fear. The tears roll hotly down for the Simonpietris, for Andre, for the questioning teens still here on this earth. In our town.

If even one set of eyes was opened to a childand#8217;s pain and potential suicide, rippling rumors abated on campus, then all the legal banter and paper bashing is worth every written word.

Let us now honor Andre, his family and our community with compassion, intelligent use of resources and open hearts. Let the dialogue continue, on a healing path, eyes, ears and hearts open.

An obituary honoring the glorious moments of Andreand#8217;s life will be forthcoming from the Simonpietri family. Until then, please visit Remembering Andre at http://www.carepages.com.

and#8212; Amy Streett Edgett is the Sierra Sunand#8217;s community editor. She can be reached for comment at aedgett@sierrasun.com.


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