September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Mental health experts and organizations remind us that we can all help prevent suicide.
During this pandemic, when it is more challenging to see and connect with our students, it’s more important than ever to support one another. Below are some steps for safeguarding your family, resources that can help if you or someone you know needs support, and upcoming training opportunities.
Warning - Graphic and Disturbing Social Media Posts:
Unfortunately, we need to alert you to some disturbing information that we have become aware of recently on social media. Evidently, there was a completed suicide that was recorded live on Facebook in August and it was reposted to Tik Tok and is now being disguised by using other titles under animal or food items, or embedded into other videos. Across the country, youth and adults are accidently coming across the shocking video without advance warning. We encourage you to be vigilant about monitoring your child’s activity on social media and be aware that these graphic and disturbing posts are circulating.
Our school district has partnered with Forefront Suicide Prevention at the University of Washington, in recent years, to raise awareness around suicide prevention and train students, staff and parents. They promote five simple and effective L.E.A.R.N® steps that empower individuals to help others move in the direction of hope, recovery, and survival. These steps play an important role in helping us recognize when peers, friends, and family might be having thoughts of suicide, and to know how and where to refer those individuals to keep them safe. The UW Forefront Suicide Prevention Month 2020 Toolkit offers steps you can take now to make your home and community safer, and suggestions for what to do if faced with supporting someone who may be considering suicide.
Take Steps Now to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe at Home
There are immediate steps you can take to keep your loved ones safe at home, especially if you have concerns about someone in your household. Make sure all firearms and ammunition on your premises are out of reach and securely locked. And similarly, take care to dispose of, or lock up, prescription medications that can be misused.
Suicide Prevention Webinar Series this Month
This month, the YMCA is also hosting a series of upcoming webinars on Suicide Prevention. For details, read their flyer. Topics will include:
What Causes Depression & Anxiety? – September 15 @ 6-7:30 p.m., for all ages
Suicide Prevention Training – September 17 @ 7-8:30 p.m., for all ages
Stigmas and Misconceptions of Suicide – September 22 @ 7-8:30 p.m., for all ages
NAMI Ending the Silence Teen Talk – September 24 @ 4-5:30 p.m., for teens and young adults
Embracing Adversity – September 28 @ 12-1:30 p.m., for parents and caregivers of teens and young adults
Continuing the Conversation: Q&A Session – September 30 @ 6-7:30 p.m., for parents and caregivers of teens and young adults
Suicide is preventable and everyone can play a role in prevention by learning to recognize the warning signs, showing compassion and offering support. Signs to be aware of in children and adults include: lack of interest, changes in eating and sleeping habits, and mood. People in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, of those who know someone in crisis should do the following:
Go to any hospital Emergency Dept. or Urgent Care clinic – or Call 911. Tell them there’s a threat of suicide by a youth.
IMPORTANT: If the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger of killing themselves and/or refuses to stay safe with you, call or text 911.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or, En Español: 1-888-628-9454; or TEXT Crisis Text Line at 741741.