In the Spotlight
Captain America takes on Suicide Prevention
Teenage boys are at higher risk than teenage girls for suicide and teenage boys are a big audience for comic books. In January of this year, Marvel Comics published a special story with Captain America to help raise the issue of teen suicide and deliver a suicide prevention message. A digital version of the comic, Captain America: A Little Help, is available online for free viewing by following the link below and then click "Read It Online".
The story is told with powerful images and few words. In an urban high-rise apartment, a teenage boy is overwhelmed by a variety of stresses which take him to the edge of the building to jump to his death. From this vantage point, he sees Captain America on the roof of a neighboring building. Captain America is surrounded by those wanting to end his life but he resists and prevails but not without "a little help" from the boy who had intended to end his own life. Following this encounter, the boy returns to his apartment and calls a suicide hotline (real number displayed in the story) and states, "I need help."
There are many resources out there for youth suicide prevention. This resource is a worthy effort to meet teenagers, especially boys, where they are often are: online and attracted to an action story.
The Mourning News - February 2011