KNOW THE SIGNS - SUICIDE PREVENTION
Suicide prevention starts with recognizing the warning signs and taking them seriously. Do everything in your power to get a suicidal person the help the person needs: call a crisis line for advice and referrals, encourage the person to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility, or take them to a doctor's appointment. According to CASP (The California Association of School Psychologists) the possible symptoms of at-risk youth for suicide include:
- An indication that there have been previous attempts at suicide.
- Plans or attempts to secure a means for suicide.
- Thinking or talking about suicide.
- Scratching, cutting or marking the body.
- Risk-taking behavior, such as running into traffic, jumping from heights, running away or general and unusual rebelliousness.
- Withdrawal from friends, and family and regular activities.
- Drug and alcohol use.
- Unusual neglect of personal appearance.
- Marked personality change.
- Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork.
- Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, etc.
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities.
- Not tolerating praise or rewards.
A teenager who is planning to commit suicide may also:
- Complain of being "rotten inside."
- Give verbal hints with statements such as: "I won't be a problem for you much longer," "Nothing matters," "It's no use," "I won't see you again."
- Put their affairs in order -- for example, give away favorite possessions, clean their room, throw away important belongings, etc.
- Become suddenly cheerful after a period of depression.
If you are feeling suicidal right now of if you are concerned about someone, please call for help!
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
You can also let a trusted adult at school know - a teacher, counselor, administrator, or other adult.