Teen Suicide tagged posts

Mental Health Advocate Launches Suicide Prevention Campaign While In- flight

AJ French, CRSS
Executive Director of Sacred Creations

Anyone can start an awareness campaign. All it requires is passion and a willingness to speak out. AJ French is a mental health advocate who demonstrates that a little tenacity and the courage to speak up has the power to change lives.

The Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance recently sent out an email saying that this is “a time to encourage people to add the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK (8255) number into the contact list on their phone. You never know when you will want to share it with someone who is struggling.” I was thinking about this on United Airlines Flight 4628 to New Jersey and asked the flight attendant if I could have one minute to make an announcement about the Suicide Prevention LIFELINE. She said yes and I made the announcement!

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Which Strategies to Prevent Youth Suicide Should Be Priorities?

KingWith today’s post, Dr. King closes out CFYM’s series on youth suicide prevention. We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers and Active Minds with Care for Your Mind and we appreciate their contributions to our community.

Cheryl King, PhD
Institute for Human Adjustment, University of Michigan

While evidence-based education, prevention, and treatment intervention strategies exist to address the problems underlying youth suicide, significant barriers prevent young people from receiving the kinds of help that can make a difference. Public policy can impact the availability of services, but there’s debate on how to invest resources.

No Single “Right” Approach
When it comes to public policy and funding to address youth suicide prevention, there’s no perfect evidence to indicate a single best or preferred strategy. I personally look at it as a large magnet and, with every strategy, we “pick up” more of those who are at risk.

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We Need to Provide Services that Young People Will Use

Dan Strauss, Executive Director
The Alex Project

Dan Strauss lost his 17-year old son, Alex, to suicide on October 11, 2010. Alex preferred communicating by text rather than by phone, and had texted friends and his counselor on the night of his death. Motivated to eliminate that communication barrier for young people in crisis, Mr. Strauss established The Alex Project, which supports crisis help line services by text. Care for Your Mind interviewed Mr. Strauss about youth suicide prevention and Alex’s experience with mental health care.

We Need to Provide Services that Young People Will Use
Crisis Intervention by Text Message for Preventing Youth Suicides

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Strategies For Addressing Youth Suicide—And The Barriers to Effective Treatment

King

Cheryl King, PhD
Institute for Human Adjustment, University of Michigan
National Network of Depression Centers

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among 15-to-24-year olds, and youth suicide remains a challenging public health problem that is strongly linked with psychiatric disorders and other mental health issues.

Research shows that there are effective education, prevention, and treatment intervention strategies to address this problem. However, there are also barriers that prevent young people from receiving the kind of help that can make a difference.

Some Evidence for Effective Approaches
While it’s a challenge to gather evidence for strategies that address suicide prevention, research indicates that certain approaches lead to increased awareness of risk factors, more referrals to treatment for those at risk, and reduced suicidal thoughts. In some instances, the studies have been large enough to look at reduction in suicide attempts. But we can’t say we have data on treatments and interventions that are actually shown to reduce suicides in youth.

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Why I Advocate for Better Suicide Prevention Programs

molly_jenkins

Molly Jenkins
Mental Health Advocate

Today we continue our five part series on youth suicide prevention. Guest perspectives come from National Network of Depression Centers and Active Minds Inc., as well as personal stories from both a peer and family member. In today’s audio post, mental health advocate and suicide attempter Molly Jenkins shares why advocacy is so important in her life of wellness.

Why I Advocate for Better Suicide Prevention Programs

While a Junior in college, Molly Jenkins attempted suicide – twice...

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Speaking Out About Youth Suicide

alison_malmon_2_websiteAlison Malmon
Founder and executive director of Active Minds Inc.

Today we continue our five part series on youth suicide prevention. Guest perspectives come from National Network of Depression Centers and Active Minds Inc., as well as personal stories from both a peer and family member. In today’s post Alison Malmon writes about the role peers and others play in preventing youth suicide on college campuses.

Speaking Out About Youth Suicide

At first glance, the 1,100 backpacks spread out across the campus quad or in the student union look puzzling. Walking through them, you notice that most have stories attached. Some have pictures. Signs reading, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help” and “Stigma is shame, shame causes silence, silence hurts us all,” poke out among the packs. Students quietly mill around, picking up the bags and reading the stories.

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Can We Reduce Youth Suicides by Understanding and Identifying Risk factors?

Coryell,WilliamWilliam Coryell, MD
George Winokur Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Today we begin a five part series on youth suicide prevention. Guest perspectives come from National Network of Depression Centers and the Active Minds, Inc., as well as personal stories from both a peer and family member.

In the United States, someone dies from suicide every 13.7 minutes. As a physician, I understand that the vast majority of people who die by suicide have a mental disorder at the time of their deaths, and that both attempted and completed suicide take a great emotional toll on family members. As a research scientist, I recognize that studying the characteristics of individuals who attempt and complete suicide will help us better understand who is most at risk. This knowledge can empower clinicians, family members and peers to seek emergency care for those in need.

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Should We Screen Middle and High School Students for Mental Health Disorders?

MHA_il_Gold_JPG

90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental illness. 

65% experience symptoms for a full year prior to their death.

When we identify kids at risk, we can save lives.

Over 10 years ago, President George Bush accepted The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recommendation that the federal and state governments work to implement broader access for youth mental health screenings as a matter of public health.  While we are still waiting for federal assistance, local organizations are taking up the challenge and offering free mental health screenings to middle and high school age students. One of those organizations, Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) has been quietly running a mental health screening program, Youth Screen, in Chicago-area schools since 2007.

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