True Colors, Inc. Special EditionYouth Suicide Prevention
Suicide is contagious!
The recent barrage of anti-LGBT messages can take a brutal toll on LGBT youth. The unending public rhetoric on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Same-Sex marriage, along with the right-wing pandering to anti-gay voters, etc. hurts. In fact, studies suggest LGBT youth and adults can experience post-traumatic stress like symptoms during times like these! Add the recent spate of publicity around the gay youth suicides and it is clear we are in a crisis state!
It is more important than ever to reach out to your mentees, students, and other young people in your life. Suicide can be contagious, especially for vulnerable young people. It is already the 3rd leading cause of death among teens!
And it is suicide prevention week.
So here's some information you can use!
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Many suicidal youth demonstrate specific kinds of behaviors that signal their suicidal thinking.
Signs and Symptoms of Suicidality
- Suicidal threats in the form of direct and indirect statements
(It is a myth that kids who threaten, don't do. If a youth says they feel suicidal
believe them and take action! See "if you think a youth is suicidal" below
for next steps)
- Suicide notes and plans (the existance of a plan, greatly increases their risk. Check out
their facebook pages, doodles and notes)
- Prior suicidal behavior and/or friends who have been suicidal, attempted or
- Making final arrangements (e.g., making funeral arrangements, writing a will,
giving away prized possessions)
- Preoccupation with death
- Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts and/or feelings
- With LGBT youth, additional risk factors include family rejection, social isolation,
harassment in school, gender non-conformity, internal conflict about their sexual or
gender identity, coming out at a very young age
If you are a youth who feels sad or desperate:
- Call 211 - they can connect you with someone to talk to RIGHT NOW!
- Call the Trevor Project - 800-850-8078 They are a suicide prevention hotline for LGBT youth and they are open 24/7
- If it is not an emergency, call True Colors: 888-565-5551. We talk to youth all the time and we want to be there for YOU. We are not at our desks all the time though so, if you need someone right this minute, call 211 or the Trevor Project
- Hang on, hold on, and reach out!
YOU MATTER. Your life matters. We need you to do whatever it takes to stay alive!
If you have a youth in your life that you care about
With so many current risk factors, it makes sense to check in with all the young people
in your life.
- Have they heard about what's going on?
- What has it been like for them?
- What are they thinking and feeling?
- Are there ways they might like to get involved and make a difference
(join or start a GSA, volunteer, etc.)
Call True Colors for more idea about getting youth involved
at 888 565-5551)
If You Think a Youth is Suicidal
Youth who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, mentors,
parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and takeimmediate action
to keep the youth safe.
When a youth gives signs that they may be considering suicide,
TAKE THESE STEPS: (adapted from the National Association of School Psychologists)
- Stay calm.
- Ask the youth directly if he or she is thinking about suicide.
- Focus on your concern for their well-being (don't make your
- Tell them that there is help.
- Do not judge.
- Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the youth alone.
- Remove means for self-harm.
- Get help:
- CALL 211: Any concerned individual (including mentors, peers, parents,
school-staff, co-workers, etc.) can help the young person CALL 211
for emergency intervention and the chance for the young person
to talk immediately with a trained counselor.
- CALL 911!
- N0 one should never agree to keep the suicidal thoughts a secret and
instead should tell an adult, such as a parent, teacher, or
school social worker or psychologist.
- Parents should seek help from school or community mental health
resources as soon as possible.
- School staff should take the student to the designated school
mental health professional or administrator.
If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance please contact one of these hotlines or
call 911 for emergency services.
True Colors Inc: (860) 232-0050
576 Farmington Ave
Hartford, CT 06105
Come to an upcoming True Colors open house to find out about volunteering,
mentoring, or foster parenting a LGBT Teen:
- Wednesday, October 6th, 6:00 PM True Colors Office, 576 Farmington Ave, Hartford
- Thursday, October 7th, 6:00 PM Klingberg Family Centers, 370 Linwood St, New Britain
- Wednesday, November 3rd, 6:00 PM, DCF, 2 Courthouse Square, Norwich
|RSVP: (860) 232-0050 or Email Robin |