TC LOGO HORIZONTAL~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
True Colors, Inc. Special Edition
Youth Suicide Prevention 
October, 2010
in this issue
Signs of Suicidality
If you are a youth who feels desperate
If you have a youth in your life...
If you think a youth is suicidal
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sad Kid
Signs and Symptoms of Suicidality
Many suicidal youth demonstrate specific kinds of behaviors that signal their suicidal thinking. 
These include:

  • 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
    completed suicide
  • 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:
  • The Trevor ProjectCall 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
belinda and sixto at cgs gathering 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
chris picture of feetYouth who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, mentors,
parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and take
immediate 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
    questions accusatory.)
  • Listen.
  • 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.
Quick Links...
Hotlines/Crisis Services:

If you are in crisis and need immediate assistance please contact one of these hotlines or
call 911 for emergency services.
Contact Information
True Colors Inc:  (860) 232-0050
576 Farmington Ave
Hartford, CT  06105
Find us on Facebook
Join Our Mailing List
To Do
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