- If you are concerned, ask someone if they are thinking of killing themselves. Do not avoid the topic.
- Keep phone numbers and websites for suicide prevention resources handy.
- Volunteer at schools or through sports, clubs and other youth activities. Trusted adults play a vital role in helping children and teens.
- Talk to your children about how to talk to a friend who expresses hopelessness or suicidal thoughts. Children should acknowledge their friend’s pain, show they care and tell an adult.
- It can be hard to tell the difference between typical emotional highs and lows of adolescence and a serious emotional problem. Don’t assume depression or anxiety are temporary.
- If someone talks about harming themselves, take them seriously.
- Warning signs of suicide include comments about wanting to die, feeling hopeless or purposeless, feeling trapped or showing rage or other extreme moods. Changing sleep habits, reckless behavior, alcohol and drug use; withdrawing or isolating themselves also can be signs.
- It is common for people who attempt suicide to say they felt they were a burden to others. Make it clear that talking about serious concerns or emotional upheaval is not a burden.
- Children and teens may have a hard time differentiating facial expressions and emotions, and might confuse worry or weariness with anger. Tell your child that you are not mad at them for how they feel.
- If someone is showing signs of suicide: Do not leave them alone; remove any firearms, drugs, alcohol or sharp objects; and call for help or take them to an emergency room.
There are free and confidential resources for people in crisis or who know someone in crisis.
If there is an immediate danger, call 911.
Care Crisis Chat: imhurting.org (chat); 800-584-3578 (call); 425-258-4357 (text, Tues-Thurs 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255, suicidepreventionlifeline.org
The Trevor Project Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth: thetrevorproject.org, 866-488-7386
Globe, countywide group for LGBTQ youth: globeyouth.com
Out of the Darkness walk: 10:15 a.m. Sept. 29, 2018, at Everett’s Box Car park: bit.ly/2vH3tcE; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health First Aid courses: mentalhealthfirstaid.org
Snohomish Health District: snohd.org/SuicidePrevention
Compass Health’s Crisis Prevention and Intervention Team may be contacted from 8 a.m. to midnight daily by calling the Volunteers of America crisis line: 1-800-584-3578.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: afsp.donordrive.com.