Teen Suicide Prevention
By: Autumn Turner
Warning Signs of Suicide: FACTS
1. Hopelessness: feeling like things are bad and won't get and better.
2. Fear of losing control, going crazy, harming themselves or others.
3. Helplessness: a belief that there is nothing that can be done to make life better.
4. Worthlessness: feeling like an awful person and feeling that people would be better off if he/she were dead.
5. Hating themselves, feeling guilty or ashamed.
6. Being extremely sad and lonely.
7. Feeling anxious, worried, or angry all the time.
1. Drug or alcohol abuse.
2. Talking or writing about death or destruction.
3. Aggression: getting into fights or having arguments with other people.
4. Recklessness: doing risky or dangerous things.
1. Personality: behaving like a different person, becoming withdrawn, tired all of the time, not caring about anything, or becoming more talkative or outgoing.
2. Behavior: can't concentrate on school or regular tasks.
3. Sleeping Pattern: sleeping all of the time or not being able to sleep at all, waking up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, not being able to get to sleep.
4. Eating Habits: loss of appetite and/or overeating and gaining weight.
5. Losing interest in friends, hobbies and appearance or in activities or sports previously enjoyed.
6. Sudden improvement after a period of being down or withdrawn.
1. Statements like, "How long does it take to bleed to death?"
2. Threats like, "I won't be around much longer..." or "Don't tell anyone else, you won't be my friend if you tell!"
3. Plans like giving favorite things away, studying about ways to die, obtaining a weapon or stash of pills; the risk is very high if a person had a plan and the way to do it.
4. Suicide attempts like overdosing, or wrist cutting.
1. Getting into trouble at school, at home, or with the law.
2. Recent loss due to death, divorce, or separation; the break up of a relationship; losing an opportunity, or a dream; losing self-esteem.
3. Changes in life that feel overwhelming.
4. Being exposed to suicide, or the death of a peer.
When a Friend Dies
If a friend dies it is already hard to deal with, but to hear that a friend has committed suicide can an even harder ordeal, especially if the friend was close to you. When something like this happens, it can be confusing and difficult to deal with, but the most important thing is to talk to others about the feelings which follow. After a traumatic deal such as this occurs in a child’s life, it is very important that they always have someone to listen to them and that the person is always there, the child must always understand that they are never alone. It may also help if the child reaches out and talks to mutual friend’s that the child and the deceased friend shared. Once someone passes, we all try to figure out why and this can be more difficult for children to understand. Some children have admitted that when they hear that a friend has died due to suicide, they sometimes feel responsible, as though they felt like they could have done something to prevent the suicide; here it is very important to help the child understand that it is not their fault. If a child is not helped through this kind of situation, they may begin to consider suicide just as the friend did; it is very important to always be there for them. If anyone you know or if you are going through it, it is very important to also remember that things will get better, even if it seems they won’t.
If your friend tells you he/she is thinking of suicide, take it seriously. Hearing this might make you feel overwhelmed or worried, especially if your friend is very upset or angry, but there are steps you can take to help your friend. Don’t be a fool and think you can take care of this yourself- you can’t!
Take Action: There are many things you can do to support and help your friend if your friend threatens to take his/her life.
Don’t keep it a secret: A secret can be dangerous in such a situation as this, it is very important to tell someone of what is going on.
Encourage your friend to seek help: It is very important that your friend gets help from a counselor, psychologist, teacher, family, or a doctor. If he/she doesn’t feel comfortable talking in person, you can suggest that they call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
While your friend is getting help, there are ways you can also help your friend. Offer your support: Let your friend know that you want to help them; just knowing somebody cares can be reassuring since your friend may be seeking comfort.
Choose what to say: Timing can be an important part of talking with someone about sensitive stuff. And sometimes, you might not know what to say. If you’re not sure what to say, you could try saying things like “I’m worried about you” or “I’m here for you.” Whatever you choose, be direct and do not act shocked by their response.
Get informed: It might help to have knowledge of suicide and depression; by doing research, you may be able to better understand what your friend is going through and what you can do better to help.
Just always remind them that they are not alone.
And if you think your friend is in danger, call 911. If you are with your friend at the time, stay with your friend until help arrives.