"Save the Teens: Preventing suicide, depression and addiction"
Readers have declared "Save the Teens" is a must have on every parents shelf and teens have found the book helpful as well.
The conception for the book came after her son's one year anniversary of his death when Carolyn looked at the stack of research from books and printouts from the Internet that she had accumulated over the year. She determined she had enough information on the topics that came between her and her son, that she wanted to share it other parents in hopes of preventing more suicides.
The powerful Introduction, can be found here.
The opening chapter is an entry for the journal Carolyn started two weeks after her son's death. It's the re-telling of Cameron's last day. It could be entitled "The Nightmare Begins" but rather it is called "Cameron's Final Day." It is very distressing because it's written with much detail of finding her son and the attempts to bring him back to life.
There is information on the mental disorders of major depression and bipolar disorder - the two most diagnosed among teens today. What is depression exactly and how do I know if my teen is depressed? And what causes depression? These are answered within the book.
Cameron was addicted to methamphetamine, which may or may not be rampant where you live. When we lived in Texas, meth was a cinch to purchase and cheap, too. It would come straight in from Mexico. The West coast is also experiencing high amount of meth use which has been the case for many years. The East coast has not been as affected as these other areas, but meth is still out there - don't fool yourself and think that it's not. There's an entire chapter devoted to meth since it's "The Devil's Drug" - or at least in the author's mind.
A chapter on suicide will explain what to watch for if your teen has become disillusioned with life.
Another chapter deals with survival after the loss of someone to suicide. Support groups are located throughout the United States and are a godsend to those who attend. It is one place they can talk about suicide freely without the fear of recrimination. Losing someone to suicide is far different from any other loss. It is usually totally unexpected, heart-wrenching, and brings about so many unanswered questions.
An added bonus in the book is Cameron Stephenson's artwork, poetry and journal entries during his last week. These items illustrate the depth of his depression and is meant to help others recognize similar items in their own teens and then get them the help the need!
To purchase a copy, please do so here.
"Save the Teens" can also be purchased at the following locations:
(Profits of each purchase made on this website will go towards the Save the Teens project which travels to share the signs of depression and substance abuse with other parents and mentors of teens. Thank you.)
The front cover photo of Cameron Stephenson was taken by Jerry M. Allison, while the two of them were on a photo shot together.
The cover compilation was created by Jaclyn Whited Carpenter, a friend of Cameron's who shared the same graphic design class while at Dale Jackson Career Center in Lewisville, TX. The text behind the photo was part of a blog Cameron wrote a month before he ended his life.
Book cover design by Cynthia Meyer of North Carolina.
The image above was created by Cameron Stephenson - a self-portrait.