How Can I Help With Youth Suicide Prevention?

Youth suicide prevention is needed now more than ever!

Since 1999, the overall suicide rate has increased at least 35% — including in children 10–17 years old.

In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death of people 10-24 years old. There are at-risk youth in every school.

Now more than ever, we need to reach out to our youth to guide them, support them, and show them that together we can weather any storm.

If we all pull together, we can help the new generation of youth grow to be strong, resilient, and prepared to take life by the horns — that’s where your local suicide prevention charity can come in.

What is a suicide prevention charity?

A suicide prevention charity is an organization that focuses on youth suicide prevention. They offer suicide prevention training and resources for parents, schools, hospitals and whole communities.

They are there to help you form a youth suicide prevention plan — including support for you, as well.

Some helpful information you may find at your local suicide prevention charity includes:

  • Videos
  • Pamphlets
  • Articles
  • Phone numbers and addresses to local mental health clinics and hotlines
  • Youth suicide prevention training
  • tool kits to help you calmly help your child
  • And support for every step in between

Among older teens and young adults, there are other services that can be utilized, as sometimes depression isn’t the only cause of suicide. PTSD, drug use and addiction can also make a person feel helpless.

What can I do?

One of the most important things to learn is the acronym, F.A.C.T.S:

F – Feelings — do they show signs of feeling hopeless about the future?

A – actions — are they showing signs of severe or overwhelming pain or distress?

C – changes — are showing behavioral clues or extreme changes in social activity? Are they showing more anger or hostility? This could also be withdrawing from friends or changes in sleep patterns and amounts.

T – talk or threats — Do they talk about dying, death, or making plans to end their life?

S – situations — Is the child expressing stressful situations? Was there a loss or major change? Are they getting in trouble at home, school or with the law more than they used to?

Any of these situations can serve as triggers for suicide.

Talk to your child. Do not be afraid to ask them their thoughts on suicide or if they have thought about it. Tell them what you see in their behavior that concerns you.

 By taking the time to notice, reaching out to your child and seeking support, you can be the beginning of a positive solution.

The best thing you can do for your child is to just be there for them!

Educate yourself, your child, and those around you about suicide and depression — together we can save lives!

If you have immediate concern, call 911. You or your child can also call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for guidance and support 24/7.

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