This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Every day in California people struggle with emotional pain. For some, it’s too hard to talk about the pain, thoughts of suicide and the need for help. Though warning signs aren’t always obvious, they are there. By recognizing these signs, knowing how to start a conversation and where to get help, each of us has the power to make a difference – the power to save a life.
That is why Valley Children’s Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention team reaches out to our community to ensure people understand how they can help and are educated about the signs.
Some signs that we may see among teens include:
- Expressing hopelessness about the future
- Displaying severe/overwhelming pain or distress
- Giving away personal belongings
- Substance abuse
- Changes in social activities
- Sudden mood changes
- Changes in sleep
- Personality change
- Neglect of personal appearance
- Reckless behavior
- Talking about, writing about or making plans for suicide
- Experiencing stressful situations including those that involve loss, change, create personal humiliation, or involve getting into trouble at home, in school or with the law. These situations can cause triggers for suicide.
If you notice any of these warning signs, you can help!
- Express your concern about what you are observing in their behavior
- Ask directly about suicide
- Encourage them to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Involve an adult they trust
For more information on warning signs, go to www.suicideispreventable.org or read more about how you can provide help and hope to those in our community struggling with emotional pain.