Talk to your kids to establish that they can talk to you, and to establish a baseline of their knowledge and understanding
Often, what appears to be a singular, external pressure or occurrence is merely “the last straw” when added to ongoing stressors, depression and/or hopelessness. Suicide is the result of a long-term “wearing-away”, an erosion of a person’s ability to cope. The more warning signs shown and risk factors present, the higher the risk.
Suicide victims are not trying to end their life – they are trying to end the pain!
The Ask 4 Help! cards are at the heart of the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program. These cards are a ‘voice’ for youth when they can’t find the words to say “I need help”.
Teens who have attempted suicide tell that they were so overwhelmed at the time of their crisis that they did not know what to say to ask for help! The cards are their ‘voice’ to say “I need help”. They help Start the Conversation!
NOTE: The 800 Crisis and Text #s are not a Yellow Ribbon organization. To reach the Yellow Ribbon office please call: (303) 429-3530.
Stay with the person unless there is risk of harm to yourself. Studies show that most people will not harm themselves if they are with someone. You don’t need to say much and there are no magic words. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. Show patience and caring. Avoid arguments and advice giving. Be supportive.
What might seem trivial to you can be overwhelming and consuming to the person in pain. If the person is saying: : “I can’t go on”, ask: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” You are not putting ideas into their head; you are showing that you take it seriously, and that it is OK to share their pain with you. Ask, “How can I help?”, then Listen for them to answer. Ask, “Is there someone you’d like to talk with?”, then Listen for an answer. Don’t be afraid of the silence. It might take a bit for them to be able to form an answer for you. Reassure them that you will be here for them, or will go with them, if they want.
The person receiving the card or cry for help, does not have to be a counselor. We just ask that you ‘Be a link’, be a lifeline…call for help. Call their parents, a counselor, minister, someone they ask for
Youth – call your parents, their parents, another trusted adult – 911!
Adults – call their parents, other help or 911.
Studies show that the crisis peaks just prior to a suicide attempt and is often a temporary crisis. The danger level decreases as much as 90% with contact with, and by talking to, people. Suicide is often an impulsive act for teens.