With concerns about teenage depression and knowing suicide as one of the leading causes of death for young people, here are resources to help you identify mental health issues and signs of risk. Depression is treatable and suicide is preventable. We need to ensure teens get help when they need it.
RESOURCES FOR TEENS:
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. Check out the announcement of a new song by Logic, then click on the Youth link at the bottom left for more information.
VT Crisis Text Line: Text “VT” to 741741
Text VT to 741741 – Crisis Text Line is FREE – 24/7 support.
You get an automated text response first, and then a response from a trained crisis counselor. They work with you until you are cool and calm and have a positive plan for next steps. (For teens in other states, you can find help via texting at Crisis Text Line. )
Umatter® U Can Get Help: www.UmatterUCanGetHelp.org
Award winning website for youth who think they may need help or may be worried about someone else. Everybody needs help sometimes. Help comes from friends, family, people nearby and even from yourself. If you are having suicidal thoughts or are worried about someone else, don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t wait for a crisis to ask for help. You Matter. You can get help.
National Hopeline Network: 800-442-HOPE (4673)
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Research has shown that more than 90% of people who commit suicide have depression or another diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder. The number one cause of suicide is untreated depression.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS:
Signs of teen depression and suicide warning signs, with suggestions on how to talk about it and ways to get help can be found at Help Guide
Another site with signs, but with additional ideas on facing the issue and seeking help on the Mental Health America website.
Is my child moody or more? An interesting article on the differences.
What can parents and guardians do when they think their teen is depressed? Read the WebMD article to discover paths of treatment and healing.
From the Mayo Clinic website: “When to get emergency help…Suicide is often associated with depression. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Also consider these options if you’re having suicidal thoughts:
- Call your mental health specialist
- Call a suicide hotline number — in the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Seek help from your primary care doctor or other health care provider
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone else in your faith community
If a loved one or friend is in danger of attempting suicide or has made an attempt:
- Make sure someone stays with that person
- Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately
- Or, if you can do so safely, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency room
Never ignore comments or concerns about suicide. Always take action to get help.”
RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS:
Adolescent Health in Vermont and teen suicide prevention.
Vermont Suicide Prevention Center is working to eliminate teen suicide. “We want our young people to know that they matter in each Vermont community.”
New York City’s Councilor Connection Newsletter has excellent ideas and techniques that can help us all.
Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction has practical advice and lessons available on youth mental health issues for downloading on their education website.
A listing of lesson plans, with downloadable documents and handouts provided by West Virginia’s Department of Education.
Note: Currently I’m working as a Guidance Teacher in a small K-8 school in upstate Vermont. The first week I began substituting, a father from our state presented his story about his son’s death due to suicide from teen depression, which was exacerbated by bullying. In light of this, a teacher asked if I’d work with her students. In the meantime, knowing suicide linked with teen depression is the second leading cause of death in teens in Vermont (and other states), I created the above lists of resources.