I write with a heavy heart having just lost another young person to suicide in our community. We are a community in which it is easier and cheaper to drown ourselves in alcohol than it is to access mental, physical and addiction health care. We are a community in which it is easier to identify a child’s dysregulated behavior as attention deficit disorder and medicate accordingly, than it is to deal with the unidentified, untreated, unaddressed mental health issues of a central adult that’s causing that child chronic stress and trauma.

We are a community in which identity politics are so strong that it’s not “cool” to talk politics and we live as though politics do not directly affect every single issue we face as a community. We live as though the letter by a candidate’s name on the ballot indicates friend or foe.

One of the Deceiver’s biggest lies is that the pain and discomfort of dealing with the problem at hand is bigger than the consequence of more of the same. Put another way, the Deceiver would have us believe that it is easier to endure more of the same than to confront and work through a given issue. That’s a lie. The pain of more of the same cumulatively, over time, is always worse than facing that which is socially inconvenient and yes, terrifying, to face.

How many more our children have to die before we are willing to have real hard conversations about the world we have created for our children?

Sarah Yacoub