Teenage suicide. Another hot potato for Quincy to deal with.
The screenplay is formulaic. It's classic for a Quincy episode where there's a very strong moral message. Back when this was aired, the emphasis was to make other people aware of the warning signs that could be the prelude to someone contemplating suicide. Withdrawal, depression, loss or gaining of weight, poor grades, etc. Consider it a huge type of infomercial shown in prime-time to a worldwide audience.
I hope that when folks watch this show, they take the contemporary setting into account. The message is still as important today as it was back then. Young people especially still see suicide as the only way out of the pain or isolation they are experiencing. It's not a message to the depressed person because they are already in the grip of a downwards spiral, it's a blueprint for those around them to see what is happening and take whatever action they can to avoid a senseless and needless death.
It also highlights the indifference of peer groups and their ignorance of the victim's cry for help.
Lastly, it showcases the suffering of the survivors and the family left behind. Those trying to make sense of it all with ill-placed blame. Those filled with survivor's guilt.
It's as powerful a message today as it was then.
There's no point in pussy-footing around this issue, taking time to gather facts and comprehend the nuances when a person is heading towards their own destruction.
Even if you do not believe it possible to talk to that person, let someone else know, a responsible adult. Don't try to take it on as a personal quest yourself. Share the burden with someone older and let them lift it from your shoulders. There are plenty of people who can help in a professional capacity.
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