Welcome to the Counselor's Corner!
Suicide Awareness and Prevention
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 12-19 year old students.
If you know someone you believe to be at risk, call 988 or
1-800-273-TALK (8255) for the National Suicide and Crisis Hotline
●Loss of home and/or recent impending crisis
●Local clusters of suicide
●Lack of social support
●Stigma of asking for help
●Cultural and religious beliefs
●Exposed to suicide in the media
●Lack of mental health and substance abuse treatment
●Diagnosis of mental illness
●Previous suicide attempts and family history of
●Sexual minority youth – LGBTQ++
●Trauma history – physical/sexual abuse, neglect, bullying, natural disaster
●Substance abuse – alcohol, drugs, lack of health care treatment
●Access to lethal means
●Thwarted belongingness – when fundamental needs for connectedness are not met
●Perceived burdensomeness – perception that others would be “better off if I were gone”
●Violent daydreaming – enduring, vivid and emotional thoughts about violent acts, such as death, suicide and revenge may be a suicidal actor
●Youth 12-17 are more likely to report suicidal ideation if they experience either school-based bullying or online bullying, but either one alone does not increase suicidal attempts.
●Other potential risk factors: sleep issues, personality traits, substance abuse, non-suicidal self-harm, or exposure to self-harm (family or friends)
●Threatening to hurt or kill self
●Looking for ways to kill self; seeking access to pills, weapons or other means
●Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
●General hostile or oppositional behavior
●Fairly rapid change not typical of the person – sleeping/eating more or less, different friends, change in hygiene habits, risky behaviors, loss of enjoyment, no reason to live
●Rage, anger or seeking revenge
●Increased use of alcohol or drugs
●Gathering the means – buying firearms, saving up pills
●Settling affairs, disposing of, or giving away possessions, suddenly atypically at peace
●Romanticized suicide leading to copy-cat behaviors, especially for adolescents.
●Positive social support
●Sense of responsibility to family
●Children in the home
●Reality testing ability
●Sense of belongingness
●Absence of feeling like a burden
●Focus on the positive for girls,
●Focus on self-discovery for boys
●Positive coping skills and problem-solving skills
●Restricting lethal means
●Effective clinical care and clinical interventions
For LGBTQ++ - in addition to above
●Family acceptance for LGBTQ++
●A sense of general and school safety
●Positive sexual and gender identity
●Connections to friends and others who care about the person at risk
●Access to quality, culturally appropriate, LGBTQ++-affirming mental health treatment and improved diagnostics
What to do
Be willing to listen
If suicide is imminent, do not leave the person alone.
Get another adult to help remove means of suicide
Contact the family
Be direct. Ask, “Are you thinking of suicide?”
Avoid encouraging them to say NO by asking, “You’re not thinking about killing yourself, are you?”
Choose a private time when you will really be able to listen to the answer
Asking the question DOES NOT increase the risk.
Listen first, then persuade.
Give your full attention, don’t interrupt, speak only when the other person has finished.
Help them identify and write down reasons for living (this may be the easiest and most powerful risk factor to change)
After listening, ask “Will you go with me to see a counselor?” (or any other professional person: doctor, nurse, pastor, etc.)
Things to say: “Suicide is not a good solution to any problem.” “There is a way to get through this.” And, “I want you to live.”
The best referral is when you personally take the person you are worried about to a mental health provider or other appropriate professional (could be the emergency room.)
It’s better to have an angry friend or loved one than a dead one.
Hotline: 988 or 1-8—273-8255 (TALK)
Teen Link’s free support services are available to youth throughout Washington State.
Teen Link supports youth through our free peer-to-peer phone, chat, and text lines. Our teen volunteers are trained to support youth by talking with them about their situations related to bullying, drug and alcohol use, relationships, stress, depression, suicide, self-harm, or anything that may come up. We like to say, no issue is too big to too small for Teen Link!
In addition to our free youth support line, we also offer a free Substance Use Prevention Line for teens, or adults concerned about a teen, to reach out to for help related to substance use prevention, education, communication strategies, treatment, etc.
- Teen Link phone, chat, and text support lines are open every day from 6-10pm
- Teen Link Substance Use line is open Monday - Friday from 1-10pm
- Call us toll free: 1.866.833.6546 (Interpreter services available!)
- For more information, visit our website at www.teenlink.org
You’re not alone. There is someone that’s willing to listen to you without judgment. Teen Link is a program of Crisis Connections that serves youth in Washington State. Our teen volunteers are trained to listen to your concerns and talk with you about whatever’s on your mind – bullying, drug and alcohol concerns, relationships, stress, depression or any other issues you’re facing.