Suicide can often be the tragic end to extreme sadness, feelings of hopelessness and loneliness. Did you know that:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people.
- Boys successfully complete suicide more often than girls, but girls have more attempts.
- 1 in 6 high school students experience thoughts of suicide
- 1 in 11 has made a suicide attempt in the last 12 months
Signs of Suicide
If a young person has been depressed, look closely for possible signs of suicide:
- Dramatic personality change
- Problems with relationships
- Deterioration of schoolwork
- Problems concentrating or focusing
- Acting in a rebellious manner or engaging in more risky behavior
- Stressful life events such as interpersonal losses, legal or disciplinary crisis or changes for which the teen feel unprepared to cope
- Running away from home
- Abusing drugs and/or alcohol
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Changes in appearance
- Giving away prized possessions
- Writing notes or poems about death
- Talking about suicide, even in a joking manner
- Previous suicide attempts
If you suspect that a teenager might be thinking about suicide, do not remain silent. Never agree to keep that information secret. Suicide is preventable, but you must act quickly.
What to do
- Ask about it. Don't be afraid to say the word "suicide." Getting the word out in the open may help the student think someone has heard the cries for help.
- Reassure him/her that you care and remind them that no matter how difficult the problems seem, they can be worked out, and you are willing to help.
- Ask him/her to talk about her feelings. Listen carefully and do not judge or dismiss the his/her problems or get angry.
- Ensure that the young person is never left alone.
The student can be taken to the Student Support Services person on the school campus (school counselor, intervention specialist or LSSP). In accordance with the FWISD Safety Management Procedures Manual, this individual will conduct a suicide risk assessment and take action based on level of risk.
For more information and resources, an implementation guide has been created to assist you.