Unfortunately our most recent Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) shows that youth in our area are suffering from depression, 38 % of the students said they felt depressed or sad most days in the last twelve months and 23.9% felt life was not worth it. Unfortunately, the most recent series “13 Reasons Why” may glamorize suicide and can give the wrong impression to our youth.
First we need to recognize the signs. Are they withdrawing from activities, giving away cherished items, isolating themselves, make comments such you would be better off without me? We need to know how to acknowledge and respond to someone who shares their thoughts of emotional distress or suicide. We need to be there for them and support them. If someone tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and get help. Don’t judge them or their thoughts, or blow it off as just talk. Listen to them, be caring and kind, offer to stay with them. Offer to go with them to get help or to contact a crisis line. While not everyone will know what to say or have a helpful reaction, there are people who do. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Lifeline (USA) at 1-800-273-8255 OR Text SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling.
Additional resources include:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK)
- Crisis Text Line – text “HOME” to 741-741
- http://www.youthsuicidewarningsigns.org/ – accurate, up-to-date, empirically-informed warning signs for youth suicide and how you can respond to someone in crisis.
- Foundation https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?
- JED Foundation https://www.jedfoundation.org/
If they do follow through with suicide, recognize that sometimes you can’t prevent it but you certainly didn’t cause it. There are resources and support groups for suicide loss survivors; seek help for yourself.