OK, so this one's from the heart; well perhaps that is stating it a little too strongly - this is from the shocked part of my now self-lacerating consciousness...
I've just reread that previous post and out of the blue up popped that old niggling voice. It went something along the lines of "Oh lighten up, gloomy drawers. They're only kids. What does it matter. They'll get over it!"
And my reason for admitting this in public? It isn't so you can tar and feather me next time your're round. It is just to say that I have spent my last 8 years doing my best to empathise with young people. I have made it a principle of good parenting to take children seriously, to listen to the problems they raise and attempt to help them solve them. And despite ALL this, an old niggling voice can still pop up and tell me that it simply doesn't matter that children are suffering to the point of attempting, and at times succeeding, at suicide.
Just goes to show how dead easy it is not to take children, particularly other people's children, even a tiny bit seriously.