Youth Suicide Resources and Links

Because youth suicide numbers in Colorado are about double the national average, it is important that we are talking about this and exploring solutions together. One is too many.

Please, talk to your child and share this information after you’ve reviewed it to ensure everyone knows and has access to organizations who can provide assistance.

TALK to your child about their feelings and about friends they might be concerned about.

The Second Wind Fund has a number of resources available to help you.  Here are just a few recommendation items from their website for easy sharing:

If You Have Concerns

  • ASK if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts. This doesn’t increase risk, in fact it reduces risk.
  • LISTEN to the youth in a compassionate and nonjudgemental way.
  • ENCOURAGE them to seek help – there is help and hope!
  • TELL them that you care.
  • DON’T KEEP IT A SECRET!
  • PROTECT your youth at home. Learn tips on how to safe-guard your home by clicking here for English, or clicking here for Spanish.

Warning Signs from Second Wind Fund:

Warning Signs

Evidence that someone is seriously planning to suicide represents a clear signal that help is needed. By some estimates, four out of five people who suicide have tried to warn others of their intent through verbal statements, written notes, demonstrating a preoccupation with death or other behavior indicating that they are planning to end their life. Fortunately there are some common warning signs which, when acted upon, can save lives.

A Suicidal Youth May:

  • Talk about suicide, death, and/or no reason to live
  • Be preoccupied with death and dying
  • Withdraw from friends and/or social activities
  • Be preoccupied with death and dying
  • Withdraw from friends and/or social activities
  • Have a recent severe loss (especially relationship) or threat of a significant loss
  • Experience drastic changes in behavior
  • Lose interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
  • Prepare for death by making out a will (unexpectedly) and final arrangements
  • Give away prized possessions
  • Have attempted suicide before
  • Take unnecessary risks; be reckless and/or impulsive
  • Lose interest in their personal appearance
  • Increase their use of alcohol or drugs
  • Express a sense of hopelessness
  • Be faced with a situation of humiliation or failure
  • Be faced with a disciplinary crisis
  • Have a history of violence or hostility
  • Have been unwilling to “connect” with potential helpers

Suicide affects all ages, nationalities, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds, and many people at some time in life may think about suicide. Most everyone decides to live because they come to realize that the crisis is temporary, but death is not. On the other hand, people in the midst of a crisis often perceive their dilemma as inescapable and feel an utter loss of control.

Be Aware of Feelings, Thoughts and Behaviors:

  • Can’t stop the pain
  • Can’t think clearly
  • Can’t make decisions
  • Can’t see any way out
  • Can’t sleep, eat or work
  • Can’t get out of the depression
  • Can’t make the sadness go away
  • Can’t see the possibility of change
  • Can’t see themselves as worthwhile
  • Can’t get someone’s attention
  • Can’t seem to get control

Mental Health Colorado has a school mental health toolkit available HERE. “The toolkit will help you make the case for schools to implement practices such as screenings, suicide prevention, and wellness plans.”

“Studies show children are more likely to seek help if support is available at school—where they spend the bulk of their waking hours. If you aren’t sure where to begin improving mental health services at your school, start with this toolkit.”

Here are a number of other resources available from Mental Health Colorado:

NEED HELP?

If you’re looking for some ways to boost your mental health right now, here are some tips.

Please call 911 if you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency.

Safe2Tell is another excellent resource. Reports can be made via the app, phone, or website.

“To make a report, call 1-877-542-7233 from anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call is free. You also may make a web-tip or download the Safe2Tell mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Remember, your identity is safe. No one will ask for your name or number. There is no caller id., no call tracing, no call recording and no call forwarding. We only want to hear your concern and try to help.”

“The anonymity of all Safe2Tell Colorado reports is protected by C.R.S. 07-197. This means the reporting party remains UNKNOWN by Colorado State Law.”

“Safe2Tell Colorado provides the only anonymous way for students, parents and community members to report unsafe and risky behaviors before they grow out of control. Each year, Safe2Tell Colorado receives thousands of reports on bullying, cyber-bullying, suicide threats, mental health concerns, child abuse, substance abuse, violence, planned school attacks, and other concerning behaviors. Each concern reported to Safe2Tell Colorado allows for caring, concerned adults to effectively intervene in the life a child or youth who is struggling.”

In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

24-Hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

24-Hour Colorado Crisis Support Line 1-844-493-8255 (TALK)

 

As Robbie’s Hope says, “It’s okay to not be okay.” (Consider purchasing items from their website to help prevent youth suicide.)

“Robbie’s Hope was established to provide support to our local resources in an effort to broaden and deepen the awareness of depression and suicide prevention in our local schools.”

Please also consider a donation to Mental Health Colorado or the Second Wind Fund.