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Teen Suicide: Facts, Myths, and Prevention
Transcript of Teen Suicide: Facts, Myths, and Prevention
Myths vs. Facts
Talking about dying
-- any mention of dying, disappearing, jumping, shooting oneself, or other types of self harm
-- through death, divorce, separation, broken relationship, self-confidence, self-esteem
Change in personality
-- sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, apathetic, loss of interest in friends, hobbies, activities previously enjoyed
Change in behavior
-- can't concentrate on school, work, routine tasks
Change in sleep patterns
-- insomnia, often with early waking or oversleeping, nightmares
Change in eating habits
-- loss of appetite and weight, or overeating
Fear of losing control
- acting erratically, harming self or others
Low self esteem
-- feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt, self-hatred, "everyone would be better off without me"
No hope for the future
-- believing things will never get better; that nothing will ever change
If you are considering suicide, tell someone you trust!
the 3rd leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24
something 1 in 5 teens seriously consider
often connected with mental illness and/or substance abuse
What Can You Do?
Educate yourself about mental illness and suicide warning signs.
Help reduce the stigma of mental illness: avoid hate speech (crazy, psycho, nutcase, etc)
Be direct. Talk openly and factually about suicide.
Be willing to listen.
Be non-judgmental. Don't debate whether suicide is right or wrong.
Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.
Don't dare them to do it or try to make them prove they are serious.
Don't act shocked.
Don't be sworn to secrecy. Seek support!
Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.
Take action. Remove means such as guns or stockpiled pills.
if you think someone is having a mental health crisis or is attempting suicide.
Get help from persons or agencies specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention!!!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
NAMI Help Line: (831) 427-8020 (this is a message machine where calls will be returned within 24 hours)
Family Service Agency of the Central Coast 24/7 Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 831-458-5300 in Santa Cruz County or toll free at 877-663-5433.
The Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth: Trevor Lifeline 866-488-7386 and http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Suicide always occurs without any warning signs.
FACT: Nearly all people who die from suicide have a diagnosable mental illness that can be treated. The feelings that cause suicidal thoughts and actions can be treated.
If you ask a child or adolescent about suicidal thoughts, you might put an idea into their heads, so you should not ask.
FACT: Research shows that talking to someone who may be suicidal is one of the best ways to help them.
Media coverage about suicide attempts or completed suicides does not impact suicidal behavior in youth.
FACT: There is an increase in suicide by readers/ viewers when the number of stories about individual suicides increases.
Once people decide to die by suicide, there is nothing you can do to stop them.
FACT: Those interventions that have been shown to be beneficial include physician education, means restriction, and gatekeeper education.