There is ALWAYS HOPE and HELP
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Contact Lubbock, Inc. is providing educational information to help prevent suicide. There is no single way to combat the problem of suicide. Understanding this variability in youth suicide, we must stress that there are no implied or otherwise suggested statements that this information can guarantee it will prevent suicide or suicide attempts from occurring. PROFESSIONAL HELP should be sought WHENEVER there is a possibility of suicidal ideation. NEVER try to solve the problem without obtaining PROFESSIONAL HELP.
How to discuss the difficult topic of suicide with your children:
BE AVAILABLE: Let your child know that he/she can talk to you anytime. SHOW that you want to hear what he/she has to say. Make sure nothing is off the table when it comes to discussion.
DISCUSS SUICIDE OPENLY: Be direct when asking about his/her suicidal intent. You must be willing to ask the questions….
Are you thinking about suicide? Do you have a plan? Asking openly lets him/her know you are not frightened of the topic. Then you must….
LISTEN: Do not judge. Listen carefully for a plan and try to determine how clear it is. Express your concern; be supportive and encourage him/her to talk about their pain, fears, loneliness, anger, etc. Do not try and fix it. Do not argue that suicide is wrong or talk about how it will hurt others; don’t use shame or guilt. This will shut down the trust building process. Just listen, and then talk about a solution.
NEVER LEAVE A SUICIDAL PERSON ALONE: Stay with him/her or have someone who is aware of the suicidal intent to stay with him/her.
LIMIT ACCESS TO LETHAL MEANS: If there are guns in the house, remove them from the premises immediately (it is not enough to lock them up). Also if he/she has access to grandparents, aunts, uncles or friends homes that have guns, make sure they are aware of the threat and their guns are also removed. Keep track of medications in the house; this would also include relatives and friends homes. Limit access to alcohol and drugs.
KNOW WHAT YOUR TEEN IS DOING: It’s not about keeping tabs on your kids day or night. It’s about knowing the type of friends he/she is hanging out with. What do they talk about? If they change classes or quit sports find out WHY? Talk to teachers and counselors to find out if he/she are isolating themselves or spending more time with kids you might not know.
IT WILL GET BETTER: Let him/her know that suicide is a permanent choice to a temporary situation.
SEEK HELP: If outside help is needed make him/her feel OK about it. Also know that it takes sometimes three or four counselors before you find the one that he/she trusts and will open up to. This is normal even for adults.
MEDICATION: There is a black-box warning for medication prescribed for teens and young adults. READ the information. KNOW that medication is not the fix. Counseling should always be a part of the process. Your son or daughter need to find ways to cope, to learn how to deal with issues in a positive manner. Talking about it is critical.
CONSIDER FAMILY COUNSELING: In truth; Many times parents think if we could just fix “John or Mary” then everything would be fine. That is rarely the case. It is proven that family counseling is much more effective as a family unit. It means that sometimes you will be in counseling as a family and other times each of you will talk to a counselor in private. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Your insurance may provide benefits for mental health, or your company may provide an Employee Assistance Program.
Sleep and the Youth Brain: Parents should monitor sleep habits of your youth. New studies show that the youth brain needs eight to ten hours sleep each night. Uninterrupted sleep is a must. Electronics should be shut off by 9:00 pm and kids should not be allowed to use computers, phones, or other electronic media, after the suggested cut off time. Parents should set the example and do the same with stopping electronics. Parents must be parents; set the rules and make sure there is accountability for disobeying the rules.
A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CHILD COULD SAVE THEIR LIFE!
One effective tool to let he/she know that you are willing to listen without judging. We suggest that you give him/her a keepsake. It does not have to be anything expensive, something that will remind them that they can talk to you. Take the time to write a hand written note, one from each parent with the following message:
I want you to know I will always be here for you. I love you and there is no problem that we can’t get through together. If you ever need to talk, but don’t know where to start, just give me this note. I agree to listen to you without judging. Regardless of what you say, I will do my best to remain calm. Remember, we will get through this together. There is nothing that could make me love you less. Remember, that I am also human. I may not always do or say the right thing or make the right decision, but I will always love you. (A portion of this message was taken in part from Project Hug).
You must mean what you say in the message!
Sharing time each day with your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give. One on one time with each child every day will mean everything in a crisis situation.
WEBSITE LINKS & APPS
Contact Lubbock, Inc.
This is a pro-active, common sense approach to stop bullying based on the Golden Rule. The program turns victims of bullying into confident and strong students in charge of their own lives. The Bullies2Buddies program works because it is based on universal wisdom and well–established principles that are taught by every major school of psychology. Tons of FREE resources for Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and Students. It works!
BROOKS GIBBS: www.brooksgibbs.com
Brooks Gibbs is an award winning social skills educator. He teaches strategies for conflict resolution with a special emphasis on emotional resilience and the Golden Rule. You can also check out a tutorial on How to Stop a Bully by watching Brooks Gibbs’ video at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oKjW1OIjuw
TEEN TRUTH: www.teentruthlive.com
Teen Truth is committed to empowering youth to be the difference in their worlds by giving them a VOICE and challenging them to think differently. Teen Truth is making a difference! It is transforming lives and helping youth to believe in themselves no matter what!
PROJECT REASONS: www.projectreasons.org
In high school Macy Rae Kline after years of cutting and suicidal thoughts started Project Reasons. She uses her own experience to help peers struggling with suicidal thoughts by meeting them where they are: online. You can also follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProjectReasonsInc and her blog on www.projectreasons.org/blog.
NAMI LUBBOCK: https://namitexas.org/nami-lubbock/
NAMI Lubbock is the Lubbock Affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness which provides support, education, and advocacy for people living with a mental illness and their family and friends.
Teenztalk was created by a teen. It connects teens to teens all over the world that discuss joy in pursuing their passions, find opportunity in challenges, and come up with strategies for stress relief. CONNECT. SHARE. INSPIRE.
GIRL TALK: http://www.mygirltalk.org/
Girl Talk is a national nonprofit organization that establishes positive weekly peer-to-peer mentoring programs for middle school girls, which are led by high school girls. Its mentoring program offers fun, positive weekly meetings, community service projects and friendship building activities for middle school girls. Girl Talk Chapters help young teenage girls build self-esteem, develop leadership skills and recognize the value of community service. Girl Talk is free to any high school girl who wants to make a difference in her community. Visit the Girl Talk Web site for more information.
Programs for school clubs, and for schools as a whole. This promotes having each other’s back, and helps promote the warning signs of depression in hopes to prevent suicide.
FAMILIES FOR DEPRESSION AWARENESS: www.familyaware.org
What Makes Us Unique? We focus on family members and friends of those who are depressed, and caregivers that usually operate with little or no guidance or support. We concentrate on depression and bipolar disorder, the most prevalent mental illnesses, and leading causes of suicide.
CYBERBULLYING RESEARCH CENTER: www.cyberbullying.us
The Cyberbullying Research Center provides up to date information about the nature, extent, causes and consequences of cyber bullying among adolescents.
SAFE SURFING: http://safesurfingkids.com
Dedicated to helping families surf the internet with awareness, safety and knowledge.
MESA SPRINGS: https://www.mesasprings.com/
A Mental Health and Addiction Treatment for Adults, Adolescents and Children that offers integrated treatment programs designed to work with individuals through each step of recovery. They assess and personalize programs and services to help you become happier, stronger, and healthier than ever before.
ASA -AUTHENTIC STRENGTHS ADVANTAGES: www.AuthenticStrengths.com
ASA has spent two decades in training and coaching individuals. Through the years they have perfected the process and found a way to transform individuals into a dedicated learner and star performer. How do they do it? Focus on the strengths. Focusing on strengths rather than on correcting weaknesses results in greater energy, enthusiasm and fulfillment. Click on the link above to take the free assessment and find out your strengths.
An app that can be downloaded to iOS or Android phones for parents to monitor, detect and be alerted when there is potential for cyberbullying, sexting, depression, drug-related content and suicidal ideation. The app works with over 20 social media platforms, iOS and Android texting and email accounts to securely analyze your child’s online activity 24/7. Once the algorithm red flags a concerning phrase or word the parent is emailed and texted. The app also provides parents with recommended actions on how to handle the situation.
An app that allows you to define your network and have a plan to stay safe when you have having thoughts of suicide. It also provides links to resources, a link to the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine number and 911 in the event of an emergency. This allows people to plan ahead for the times when they are feeling hopeless and can reach out to their network in the time of need.
A PROACTIVE app that recognizes hurtful words and encourages the person posting to rethink their post before the damaging words are done.
Netsanity restores peace of mind and family time by giving parents complete control over the access their kids have to their iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android Samsung Galaxy devices — from anywhere, anytime. They also have a guide to decoding teen slang terms at: https://netsanity.net/teen-slang-parents-guide/
WebSafety provides an open window through which concerned parents can monitor questionable and potentially harmful content or a direct predatory exchange occurring on their child’s mobile device or computer.
NET NANNY: www.netnanny.com
A website that protects your family from pornography, online predators, cyberbullies and more.
This resource is designed to introduce younger children to basic internet safety concepts through interactions with animated characters—Clicky, a yellow robot, and the sister-and-brother team, Nettie and Webster. Children learn the importance of being safer on—and offline from the repetition of safety messaging in Clicky’s songs. The ultimate goal of NetSmartzKids is to teach children to identify online dangers and practice safer behaviors.
The following apps can be downloaded directly to your mobile device from your iOS or Android app store.
SafeToNet: This is a free app that allows you to connect to your children’s devices and remotely block apps, set a timer on an app or lock your child’s phone (except in an emergency).
#BeStrong: This is an anti-bullying emoji keyboard that people can use to put positive images when they witness someone being cyberbullied.
Know Bullying by SAMHSA: Studies show that if parents talk to their child at least 15 minutes a day can build a foundation for a strong relationship, develop their resilience to peer pressure and prevent bullying this app allows parents to set reminders to talk with their children and provides them with questions to discuss with their child.
“GROWING UP SOCIAL: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen Driven World” by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane
Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid television viewing and screen time for children under 2 years of age? That’s right – no screen time! Young children grow by discovering the real world – things they can touch, taste, see, hear, and smell. They are developing motor skills, such as crawling, pulling themselves up and walking. Sitting in front of a screen is detrimental to the mental, physical, and social development of young children. Talking and playing with your young child is much more productive.
“No More Perfect Kids” by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch, PhD
This book equips ALL of us with the tools and perspective to: identify and remove the PERFECTION INFECTION from parenting. Really know each child so we can fully embrace their unique design. Release our children from unrealistic expectations and answer the questions are kids are silently asking in a way that gives them the courage and freedom to be themselves.
“Teachable Moments” by Mary Beth Hicks
Never have parents been so challenged by the world around them to instill in their children the virtues that lead to a strong moral compass, admirable character, and a mature faith. Gives parents tips on how to use social media ethically, with compassion, and good character.
NATIONAL TEXT LINE 741741: FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL. SIMPLY TEXT TO 741741.