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 CrisisLink News

Learn More about Wide Range of Volunteer Opportunities Available at CrisisLink - Thurs., 8/14
This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with veteran and new volunteers and to get involved in some of our exciting upcoming projects.
more info >>


 SPOTLIGHT ON: You Talk, We Listen
 CrisisLink's Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative

YTWL Young people are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, both in their personal and academic lives. This can lead to feelings of sadness, depression, anger, and at times, thoughts of suicide. Many young people don't know where to turn in times of crisis, but CrisisLink is providing the resources to get help when it's needed the most.

You Talk, We Listen, CrisisLink's youth outreach initiative, gives teens the resources and tools necessary to get help for themselves or someone else when faced with issues that cannot be handled alone. As part of CrisisLink's youth outreach initiative, wallet cards are distributed to students at area schools, so that they are sure to have our hotline numbers when they need them the most. Our crisis and suicide prevention hotlines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to people of all ages, in all stages of crisis. Our youth outreach efforts also include workshops and training programs in suicide prevention and depression awareness. These educational programs are conducted for students in our region's middle and high schools, as well as for school counselors, teachers, health professionals, and others who interact with young people on a regular basis.

With summer coming to an end and the new school year fast approaching, we want to make sure students have the information and resources necessary to handle any crisis that may occur.

Request Free Wallet Cards Featuring Hotline Numbers & Tips
To request wallet cards, please e-mail information@crisislink.org or call 703-516-6778. Wallet cards are available in bundles of 50.

Host a Workshop or Training Program on Youth Suicide Prevention and/or Depression Awareness
For more information and to schedule a workshop, please contact cecr@crisislink.org or 703-516-6771.


 Conversations: Youth Suicide
 Conversation with CrisisLink's Director of Community Education & Crisis Response

As a new school year begins, CrisisLink is busy presenting depression awareness and suicide prevention trainings to a wide range of schools, colleges, and other organizations working with young people. We sat down with Mary Azoy, LPC, CPT, CrisisLink's Director of Community Education and Crisis Response, to talk about youth suicide in our region and the workshops and trainings CrisisLink offers.

Q. Mary, how big a problem is youth suicide and depression?

A. Suicide is currently the 3rd leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24, and for every completed suicide it is estimated that at least 35 young people make serious non-fatal attempts. Among older teens in Virginia, suicide has risen to become the 2nd leading cause of death, exceeded only by accidents. In D.C., 20-29 year olds are at highest risk of suicide.

Q. Why should we be concerned?

A. Many young people who consider or attempt suicide suffer from undiagnosed or untreated depression. Others may become impulsively suicidal when faced with pressures or disappointments that more mature and experienced adults might consider relatively insignificant. In both cases, suicidal gestures are cries for help - but it's crucial to recognize and respond to those cries before it's too late.

Q. What can be done to help a suicidal youth?

A. While suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people, it is also one of the most preventable. Parents, educators, health care professionals, faith leaders, and young people themselves need to know how to recognize the common symptoms of depression, the warning signs of suicide, and what can be done to help a depressed or suicidal teen stay safe and get treatment.

Q. What will people learn from your trainings?

A. That depends on the length of the training. In addition to learning how to recognize the common risk factors and warning signs of suicidal behavior, in a 1-2 hour training they'll learn the 3 basic steps they can take to help a suicidal person stay safe and to connect them to appropriate treatment. In an intensive 2-day "ASIST" training they'll also learn more in depth about the impact of their own attitudes and beliefs, various aspects of suicidal thinking , and how to communicate effectively with suicidal people.

Q. Where can people find out more information about your depression awareness and suicide prevention trainings?

A. For more information, to request a brochure, or to schedule a training, please contact me, Mary Azoy, LPC, CPT, Director of Community Education and Crisis Response, at 703-516-6771 or marya@crisislink.org.

Mary is a Licensed Professional Counselor with expertise in crisis response, suicide prevention, grief and trauma, and acts as a clinical consult for CrisisLink's programs. She has worked directly with victims of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and others impacted by sudden and traumatic loss.


 Hotline Success Story
 CrisisLink's Hotlines in Action

The following story is based on an actual call to CrisisLink. Some elements have been changed to protect the identity of the caller.

Paul, a 16-year-old male, called CrisisLink's Crisis & Suicide Prevention Hotline from school because he was concerned about his friend, John, who was considering suicide. Paul said that he and some other friends had talked John out of suicide the week before. They continued to worry because John continued to talk about taking his life. After talking with one of CrisisLink's Hotline Listeners, Paul was able to make a plan to help his friend. He decided that he would talk with the other friends in the group and go to the school counselor for help in handling John's suicidal thoughts. The group would also continue to stay in close contact with John both during and after school. CrisisLink's Hotline Listener offered to call John directly, but Paul preferred to give the Hotline numbers to John himself. Paul was hopeful at the end of the call and planned to call back as needed. He also planned to give his other friends CrisisLink's Hotline numbers so that they could call us directly if they needed additional assistance.


 Recognizing the Warning Signs of Suicide
 If you think someone is suicidal....

Learn the suicide warning signs:
  • Talking about suicide
  • Acting depressed, withdrawn
  • Recklessness
  • Giving away valued possession
  • Substance abuse
  • Suffering a major loss or life change
  • A previous suicide attempt
  • Ask directly about suicidal thoughts
  • Give your attention, not your advice
  • Listen
  • Don't be judgmental or sworn to secrecy
  • Take time to let the person express their feelings
  • Offer hope that alternatives exist
  • Don't lecture, debate, or criticize
  • Get involved and get help from responsible adults
  • Encourage them to seek professional help as soon as possible
  • Call CrisisLink

For more information... 

 Resources for Teens and Parents

CrisisLink's 24/7 Crisis & Suicide Prevention Hotlines are always available. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call us! We can help!
  • 1-800-273-TALK
  • 1-800-SUICIDE
  • 703-527-4077

CrisisLink's Resource Page on Facebook
CrisisLink's Facebook Page gives you a direct link to CrisisLink's network of friends and supporters. You can access information about CrisisLink's programs, as well as important facts and warning signs about suicide and depression. On Facebook? Visit CrisisLink's Facebook page for tips on how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of suicide and depression.

Become a fan of the page and share the information with your friends on Facebook.

CrisisLink's Facebook page features updates, news, and links to additional resources.

Visit CrisisLink's Facebook page today.

Videos on YouTube
Watch a Comcast Newsmaker's interview with a CrisisLink volunteer to discuss CrisisLink's youth suicide prevention activities, and a public service announcement about CrisisLink's Hotlines.

Watch CrisisLink's videos on YouTube today.

2-1-1 Information & Referrals
Dial 2-1-1 for instant access to Information & Referrals for health and human services in the region.

You can also access these resources online at the MetroDC 2-1-1 website or the 2-1-1 VIRGINIA website.

For more information... 

 Media Corner
 CrisisLink's issues in the news

VA Gets 55,000 Plus Suicide Calls
A Suicide Hotline is Turning into a Life Line for Veterans in Crisis
Click here to read more.

Louisiana Steps Up to Fight the Problem of Youth Suicide
Click here to read more.

CrisisLink featured as a Newsmaker!
CrisisLink volunteer Lauren Gradowski was interviewed by Comcast's Tony Hill in a segment discussing youth suicide and depression, and the ways you can help someone in crisis. The segments will air at various times throughout the day from now until the end of the year. Watch the video now!

CrisisLink and 2-1-1 VIRGINIA in the Northern Region featured on Fox 5
On July 24th, Fox 5 featured CrisisLink and 2-1-1 VIRGINIA in the Northern Region in a segment on reducing the cost of living. Click here to watch the clips and learn more about how 2-1-1 can help you!


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