Tips for parents
Volunteering is one way adults can help lower suicide rates among teens. Coaches, tutors or instructors for art or music clubs can make a difference in how young people perceive their worth.
Many times, kids who are considering suicide reach out to a friend and make comments expressing sadness or hopelessness. Talk to your kids about how to help a friend who comes to them.
Adolescence is a time known for its emotional highs and lows. It’s sometimes hard for adults to know where the line is between typical teenage behavior or serious emotional problems. Don’t assume depression or anxiety are temporary moods.
Withdrawing from normal activities, keeping to themselves, giving away personal items, changes in sleep patterns and using drugs or alcohol can be signs that someone may be thinking about suicide.
Many young people who use the crisis chat line say they don’t want to add to their parents’ burdens. Make it clear that serious talks are not a burden.
Children and teens may have a hard time identifying emotions, such as stress, weariness or concern. Tell your child when you’re talking that you are worried, not mad at them.
Out of the Darkness, a walk to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is scheduled for 10 a.m Oct. 15 at American Legion Memorial Park, 145 Alverson Blvd., Everett. Registration is at 9 a.m. For more information, call 425-212-5312 or email email@example.com. The goal is to raise $20,000. Register for the event online at afsp.donordrive.com/communitywalks. Select “Find a Walk.”
Confidential help is available to teens and adults with any emotional issue, including suicidal thoughts, by calling the Volunteers of America Care Crisis Line at 800-584-3578 or through the online chat site at imhurting.org.
More suicide prevention information is available on the Snohomish Health District website, snohd.org/Healthy-Living/Healthy-Communities/Youth-Suicide-Prevention.
Compass Health’s Crisis Prevention and Intervention Team may be contacted from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 425-349-7447. Go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has resources online at afsp.donordrive.com.
Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course that teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of suicide, mental illnesses and substance abuse. For more information, go to mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs.
Sabrie Taylor of Marysville has a Facebook page for a new support group, Gone But Not Forgotten Grief After Suicide Support Group. Go to: bit.ly/2dxKADl
Stanwood Camano Community Action, which includes Survivors of Suicide Loss, was founded last year following a group of suicides in the community. Go to scsuicideprevention.org.
Youth coalitions, whose missions include suicide prevention:
Darrington Youth Coalition, go to northcountyfamilyservices.com/2015.php
Monroe Youth coalition, where students produced “You Are Not Alone.” Go to monroecommunitycoalition.com/programs-and-strategies/monroe-youth-coalition.
Mukilteo Youth Coalition, go to myccares.org.
— Sharon Salyer and Kari Bray, Herald writers