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Mon Nov 23, 2020, 12:29 PM

For months, he helped his son keep suicidal thoughts at bay. Then came the pandemic.


For months, he helped his son keep suicidal thoughts at bay. Then came the pandemic.

One in 4 young adults have struggled with suicidal thoughts since the coronavirus hit, CDC says. “I could see the storm coming," said father.

By William Wan
November 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. EST

He visits the grave every day. ... And every day, Ted Robbins asks himself the questions that have plagued him since the night his 16-year-old son killed himself, one month into the pandemic.

What if Robbins hadn’t canceled their family vacation? What if their school hadn’t closed down? What if his son Christian could have leaned on his best friends through this rough patch like he had in the past?

But one question haunts him the most: “What if the pandemic never happened? Would my son still be alive?”


America’s system for monitoring suicides is so broken and slow that experts won’t know until roughly two years after the pandemic whether suicides have risen nationally. But coroners and medical examiners are already seeing troubling signs.


If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

William Wan
William Wan is a national reporter covering health, science and news for The Washington Post. He previously served as the Post's China correspondent in Beijing, roving U.S. national correspondent, foreign policy reporter and religion reporter. Follow https://twitter.com/thewanreport

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Reply For months, he helped his son keep suicidal thoughts at bay. Then came the pandemic. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 23 OP
LizBeth Nov 23 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 12:59 PM

1. I ground my oldest and he has been under incredible pressure last handful of months.

He called last week and all the flags flying that he was getting to a dire place. We decided that he should not visit Christmas and the only reason we considered was he is in need of a break. At the end of the conversation he reiterates so, we are forgoing a Christmas visit. And I said yes. UNLESS, it is that important for a break, then we risk it.

My point is, we have been doing so well isolating and doing without for 8 months and a little longer won't hurt us. Unless it hurts us. Then do what we have to do.

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