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    September 7, 2022

    Suicide Prevention: 40 Ways to Get Help and Information

    Mental health issues, especially suicide, are often taboo subjects and can stigmatize those in greatest need of support. As educators, we can do more to open up the discussion about mental health issues and suicide prevention—or face the dire consequences of a continuing suicide epidemic among children, teens, and youth.
    With the back-to-school season upon us, this presents an ideal opportunity to focus on wellness and suicide prevention for K12 and college students.

    The Rising Tide of Mental Illness and Suicide Among Children and Teens

    It’s no secret that the rate of child and teen suicide has risen over the years, and the numbers of children who suffer are staggering:

    • Nearly one in three (31%) young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced a mental, behavioral, or emotional health issue in the past year (SAMHSA, 2021).
    • 27% of teens ages 12-17 have one or more mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems
      (NSCH, 2019).
    • 37% of high school students reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year. This percentage is higher for females (46.6%), Hispanic students (40.0%), and lesbian, gay, or bisexual students (66.3%) (CDC, 2020).
    • Among college students, 29% have been diagnosed with anxiety and 24% have been diagnosed with depression (NCHA, 2021).
    • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10–14 and the third leading cause of death among those aged 15-24 in the U.S. (NIMH)

    Considering what’s at stake, creating awareness is a critical first step in addressing the severity of the problem.

    Why is Awareness of Suicide Prevention So Important?

    The simple answer is that awareness can change the dynamics of suicide prevention. Consider that 80% of teens who die by suicide show warning signs, and 90% of teens who die by suicide have a mental health condition. Believe it or not, this can give us hope. Learning how to detect warning signs gives us a better chance of reaching students before they hit a crisis point. Rather than thinking a child is just “going through a phase” or a teenager is being moody, awareness teaches us to look deeper.

    Understanding the factors and warning signs, coupled with access to treatment, will help students get the attention needed to get help and avert potential disasters. Well-designed suicide prevention programs can empower educators and parents alike to be more proactive in anti-suicide efforts. In recognizing the problem, we can take the next steps—turning to the many organizations, resources, and tools that can help us monitor children who are at risk, prevent escalation, create safe communities free from stigma, and ensure better access to resources, especially among vulnerable populations. 

    Providing Tools and Resources to Help Prevent Suicide

    With educational tools, awareness programs, and accessible resources in place, we can help students at all levels get the help and support they need. If you would like more information and resources—whether for a crisis situation or non-life threatening situation—to help your children, students, or others in your community, below are valuable resources to call upon.

    All of the resources listed below are out there but they are scattered across geographies and the internet. STOPit brings many of them together in one place that can be easily accessed using a smartphone. To learn more about STOPit’s HelpMe app, download the ebook below.DOWNLOAD EBOOK NOW


    40 Ways to Get Help and Information

    24/7 Crisis Lines 
    • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988 or online at 988lifeline.org provides free, 24/7, confidential support (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).
    • Boystown National Hotline:   Call 800-448-3000 or TTY 800-448-3000 for crisis and support line for children, youth and their parents, 24/7, Spanish available. 
    • Childhelp (1.800.4ACHILD):  This 24/7 anonymous, confidential provides assistance in 170 languages to adults, children, and youth regarding child abuse.
    • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with counselors 24/7/365.

    • Hopeline Suicide Crisis Hotline: Call 1-800-SUICIDE for a 24-hour National Suicide Crisis Hotline that automatically directs the call to the nearest crisis center. 
    • National Runaway Safeline (1.800.RUNAWAY): This is a 24/7 crisis line for youth thinking about running away, for youth already on the run, and adults worried about a runaway. 

    • Teen Lifeline: Call (24/7/365) or Text 1-800-248-8336 (weekdays 12-9pm and weekends), for crisis support or peer counseling (3-9pm daily).
    Tool Kits
    Mental Health Support & Referrals
    General Resource & Information

    Suicide Prevention Requires Awareness, Education, and Action

    As National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month approaches, let’s all commit to heightening awareness of the situation. There are many organizations, tools, and crisis hotlines that can help students in K12 and college—help us learn to spot warning signs, create safe learning environments, and improve access to resources across all districts. 

    New, convenient tools can improve mental health and suicide prevention efforts in your school community, including HelpMe, a mobile app that provides support and includes a crisis text line staffed by volunteers trained by professional crisis intervention professionals. Let’s do what it takes to make a difference!  


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