What would you do if you found a photo of your 12-year-old son cutting himself on his Instagram account along with a caption that said he planned to kill himself on his 13th birthday, just days away?
That’s just what happened to Karen, Noah’s mom. Her son is already in therapy for help coping with bullying. But after this new threat, Karen is desperate to help her son. “I have been doing my very best. But he is in pain. I can't do this alone,” she writes.
So, on Monday, she launched the Letters for Noah Facebook page in the hopes of starting a viral letter-writing campaign aimed at showing Noah that people really care and that life is worth living. She wants to get as many letters to Noah as possible before he turns 13 on Feb. 8.
What Noah is going through, sadly, isn’t unique. (The comments on the Facebook page sharing similar stories attest to that.) In fact, suicide is one of the leading causes of death among kids under 14 — and it has increased more than 50 percent in the past 30 years, according to Bullyingstatistics.org. A recent study found that kids under age 11 are three times more likely to think about taking their own life if they’re involved in bullying. There’s even a name for it: bullycide, plus an organization aimed at preventing it.
“Noah is getting treatment in a hospital now. But it is still not enough. He needs people to rally. … Noah needs to know that He Matters and that It Does Get Better,” his mom wrote.
You can send letters to Noah, P.O. Box 444, Simpsonville, Maryland 21150, or you can words of encouragement on the Facebook page. And spread the word: So far the Facebook page is at 3,000+ likes, and his mom’s post has been shared more than 1,300 times.