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"This video allows us to see the loss, and then focus on

the light that we know follows dark days."

Should've stayed, were there signs, I ignored?
Can I help you, not to hurt, anymore?
We saw brilliance, when the world, was asleep.
There are things that we can have, but can't keep.

If they say

Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We're quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do

The reminders, pull the floor from your feet
In the kitchen, one more chair than you need  - Oh
And you're angry, and you should be, it's not fair
Just 'cause you can't see it, doesn't mean it, isn't there

If they say

Who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars

It flickers, flickers

Who cares when someone's time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We're quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do.  I do - I do - I do - I do - I do - I do 

If they say

Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone's time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We're quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do - I do

Experts Express Concerns Over Mental Health Of Some Kids In The Pandemic

A National Public Radio Report 1/25/21

NPR Youth Suicide 1/25/21
00:00 / 07:14
Suicide thread.jpeg

(Excerpt) "They may begin to feel like they're in a situation that they can't sort out. They may also be in a position where they feel they can't talk to anybody, even their parents, because their parents are going to be quite upset. And as the number of solutions for that situation dwindle, they can begin to think about, you know, I'd rather be dead than sort through this." 

~ Dr. Richard Martini, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Utah ~

Preventing Youth Suicide

Suicide Prevention Page

Suicide is a PERMANENT solution to a TEMPORARY problem.

Children/Teens want to end the emotional pain more than they really want to die.

Let's help ease their pain.

Parents and guardians play a key role in youth suicide prevention. They need to be informed and actively involved in decisions regarding their child’s welfare. Parents and guardians who learn the warning signs and risk factors for suicide are better equipped to connect their children with professional help when necessary. Parents and guardians should be advised to take every statement regarding suicide and wish to die, seriously and avoid assuming that a child is simply seeking attention.

Parents and guardians can also contribute to important protective factors – conditions that reduce vulnerability to suicidal behavior – for vulnerable youth populations such as neuroatypical or LGBTQ youth. Research from the Family Acceptance Project found that gay and transgender youth who reported being rejected by their parents or guardians were more than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide. Conversely, feeling accepted by parents or guardians is a critical protective factor for vulnerable youth populations.

10 things parents can do

to prevent suicide

The American Academy of Pediatrics

Risk Factors

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Protective Factors

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Warning signs

Suicide in Schools by Erbacher, Singer & Poland

Preventing Youth Suicide

National Association of School Psychologists

How to Help

Stanford Children's Health


From the American Academy of Pediatrics

10 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Suicide

As children grow into teenagers, it becomes more challenging for parents to know what they are thinking and feeling. When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about? It's important to learn about the factors that can put a teen at risk for suicide. Spend some time reading these ten ways you can help prevent a tragedy from occurring. The more you know, the better you'll be prepared for understanding what can put your child at risk.


1) Don't let your teen's depression or anxiety snowball.

Maybe your child is merely having a bad day, but maybe it's something more if this mood has been going on for a couple of weeks. Depressed people often retreat into themselves, when secretly they're crying out to be rescued. Many times they're too embarrassed to reveal their unhappiness to others, including Mom and Dad. Boys in particular may try to hide their emotions, in the misguided belief that displaying the feeling is a fifty-foot-high neon sign of weakness. Let's not wait for children or youth to come to us with their problems or concerns. Knock on the door, park yourself on the bed, and say, "You seem sad. Would you like to talk about it? Maybe I can help."

2) Listen—even when your teen is not talking.

Not all, but most kids who are thinking about suicide (this is called suicidal ideation) tip off their troubled state of mind through troubled behaviors and actions. Studies have found that one trait common to families affected by a son's or daughter's suicide is poor communication between parents and child. However, there are usually three or more issues or factors going on all at once in a child's life at the time when he or she is thinking about taking his or her life.

suicide-prevention red.jpg

These factors include but are not limited to:

Major loss (i.e., break-up or death)

Peer or social pressure
Access to weapons

Public humiliation
Severe chronic pain

Substance use
Chronic medical condition

Family history of suicide


If your instinct tells you that a teenager might be a danger to himself, heed your instincts and don't allow him to be left alone.

In this situation,

it is better to overreact than to underreact.

3. Never shrug off threats of suicide as typical teenage melodrama.

Any written or verbal statement of "I want to die" or "I don't care anymore" should be treated seriously. Often, children who attempt suicide had been telling their parents repeatedly that they intended to kill themselves. Most research supports that people who openly threaten suicide don't really intend to take their own lives; and that the threat is a desperate plea for help. While that is true much of the time, what mother or father would want to risk being wrong?  Any of these other red flags warrants your immediate attention and action by seeking professional

help right away:

"Nothing matters."
"I wonder how many people would come to my funeral?"

"Sometimes I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up."

"Everyone would be better off without me."
"You won't have to worry about me much longer."

When a teenager starts dropping comments like the ones above or comes right out and admits to feeling suicidal, try not to react with shock ("What are you, crazy?!") or scorn ("That's a ridiculous thing to say!"). Above all, don't tell him or her, "You don't mean that!." Be willing to listen nonjudgmentally to what your teen is really saying, which is: "I need your love and attention because I'm in tremendous pain, and I can't seem to stop it on my own."


To see your child so troubled is hard for any parent. Nevertheless, the immediate focus has to be on consoling; you'll tend to your feelings later. In a calm voice, you might say, "I see. You must really, really be hurting inside."

4. Seek professional help right away.

If your teenager's behavior has you concerned, don't wait to contact your pediatrician. Contact a local mental health provider who works with children to have your child or youth evaluated as soon as possible so that your son or daughter can start therapy or counseling if he or she is not in danger of self-harm. However, call your local mental health crisis support team or go to your local emergency room if you think your child is actively suicidal and in danger of self-harm.


5. Share your feelings.

Let your teen know he or she is not alone and that everyone feels sad or depressed or anxious now and then, including moms and dads. Without minimizing his anguish, be reassuring that these bad times won't last forever. Things truly will get better and you will help get your child through counseling and other treatment to help make things better for him or her.

6. Encourage your teen not to isolate himself or herself from family and friends.

It's usually better to be around other people than to be alone. But don't push if he says no.

7. Recommend exercise.

Physical activity as simple as walking or as vigorous as pumping iron can put the brakes on mild to moderate depression.  There are several theories why:

1) Working out causes a gland in the brain to release endorphins, a substance believed to improve mood and ease pain. Endorphins also lower the amount of cortisol in the circulation. Cortisol, a hormone, has been linked to depression.
2) Exercise distracts people from their problems and makes them feel better about themselves.

Experts recommend working out for thirty to forty minutes a day, two to five times per week.
Any form of exercise will do; what matters most is that children and youth enjoy the activity and continue to do it on a regular basis.

8. Urge your teen not to demand too much of himself or herself.

Until therapy begins to take effect, this is probably not the time to assume responsibilities that could prove

overwhelming. Suggest that he or she divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones whenever possible and participate in favorite, low-stress activities. The goal is to rebuild confidence and self-esteem

9. Remind your teen who is undergoing treatment not to expect immediate results.

Talk therapy and/or medication usually take time to improve mood. Your child shouldn't become discouraged if he or she doesn't feel better right away.

10. If you keep guns at home, store them safely or move all firearms elsewhere until the crisis has passed.

If you suspect your child might be suicidal, it is extremely important to keep all firearms, alcohol, and medications under lock and key.

10 things parents

Suicide: What Parents & Teachers Can Do to Reduce Risk

Mental health conditions are often seen as the cause of suicide, but suicide is rarely caused by any single factor. Suicide risk goes beyond a focus on mental health concerns alone. Factors increasing and decreasing suicide risk occur at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels. Risk factors include adverse childhood experiences (ACEs [e.g., exposure to violence])


Watch for Warning Signs:

  • Isolation or withdrawal

  • Depressed, sad

  • Increased hostility; defensiveness

  • Feeling helpless or worthless

  • Loss of energy

  • Change in eating or sleeping (weight loss/gain)

  • Serious illness or injury especially with consequences (i.e. can no longer play sports)

  • Loss of significant relationship

  • Deterioration in self care

  • Decreased school attendance or performance

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities or sports

  • Increased use of drugs, alcohol, sex

  • Reference being dead; joking about it

  • Changes in behavior, academics, relationships

  • Self-defeating statements (I’d be better off dead)

  • Hopelessness about the future

  • Trouble concentrating or thinking quickly

  • Preoccupation with death in comics/movies

  • Reading books on suicide/death

  • Discussing suicide in their writings

  • Disinterest in making future plans

  • Sudden mood switch; Euphoria, attitude becomes calm

It takes one caring adult to save the life of a child.


Suicide in Schools by Terri A. Erbacher, Jonathan B. Singer & Scott Poland

Warning Signs

Risk Factors:

A combination of individual, relationship, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of suicide. Risk factors are those characteristics associated with suicide—they might not be direct causes.

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)

  • Victim of harassment and bullying

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Isolation – lack of connectedness

  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies

  • The pressure of being a good student/athlete/child

  • Identified as or perceived to be LGBTQ and questioning

  • Childhood trauma/witnessing trauma

  • Local epidemics of suicide

  • Easy access to lethal means

  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment including stigma

  • Loss (relational, social, work, school, or financial)

  • Medical illness

  • Problems with the law

  • Family history of suicide

  • History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression

  • History of physical or sexual abuse (experiencing or witnessing)

  • History of alcohol and substance abuse

  • History of child maltreatment

  • Cultural and religious beliefs (i.e., belief that suicide is noble resolution)

Protective Factors:

Many factors buffer individuals from suicidal thoughts and behavior. To date, protective factors have not been studied as extensively or rigorously as risk factors. Identifying and understanding protective factors are, however, equally as important as researching risk factors.

  • Family & community support (connectedness).

  • Restricting access to lethal means.

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders.

  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for seeking help.

  • Support from ongoing medical & mental health care relationships.

  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes.

  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation.


Information taken from the CDC:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Risk Factors
Protective Factors
Tips for Parents

If you ask someone about suicide, does it put the idea Into their head?

Asking someone about suicide is not harmful. There is a common myth that asking someone about suicide can put the idea into their head. This is not true. Several studies examining this concern have demonstrated that asking people about suicidal thoughts and behavior does not induce or increase such thoughts and experiences. In fact, asking someone directly, “Are you thinking of killing yourself,” can be the best way to identify someone at risk for suicide.

Will asking about suicidal ideation cause a person to engage in suicidal behaviors?  Research has shown that asking about suicidal thoughts does not increase the likelihood of someone thinking about suicide for the first time or engaging in such behaviors.  Other research cited by the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests that “acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact, reduce, rather than increase suicidal ideation.”

Suicide Question 2021-05-05 at 5.42.24 P
Ask the Question

Positive Parenting Practices

Parenting a teen is not easy. Many outside influences distract our youth and add challenges to parenting efforts. Youth need adults who are there for them—people who connect with them, communicate with them, spend time with them, and show a genuine interest in them. A key parental role is helping teens understand that their health and well-being—now and in the future—are not simply a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.  By engaging in positive parenting, parents can help their adolescent make healthy choices.

How to help

If you notice any of these warning signs in your child, you should take these steps:

  • Offer help and listen. Don't ignore the problem. What you've noticed may be the teen's way of crying out for help. Offer support, understanding and compassion. Talk about feelings and the behaviors you have seen that cause you to feel concerned. You don't need to solve the problem or give advice. Sometimes just caring and listening, and being nonjudgmental, gives all the understanding necessary.

  • Take talk of suicide seriously, and use the word “suicide.” Talking about suicide doesn't cause suicide—but avoiding what's on the teen's mind may make that teen feel truly alone and uncared for. Tell the youngster that together you can develop a strategy to make things better. Ask if your child has a plan for suicide. If he or she does, then seek professional help immediately.

  • Remove lethal weapons from your home, such as guns. Lock up pills, and be aware of the location of kitchen utensils, as well as ropes, which can be used as means to commit suicide.

  • Get professional help. A teen at risk of suicide needs professional help. Even when the immediate crisis passes, the risk of suicidal behavior remains high until new ways of dealing and coping with problems are learned.

  • Don’t be afraid to take your child to a hospital emergency room if it is clear that he or she is planning suicide. You may not be able to handle the situation on your own.

Information taken from Stanford Children's Health

A Comprehensive Approach: Prevent, Recognize, and Respond

  • Prevent. Create a physically and emotionally safe environment for your teens so that thoughts and behaviors about suicide are less likely to happen in the first place. When teens and those around them have the necessary skills to regulate their emotions, and have opportunities to practice these skills and connect with others through positive relationships, we create a safer environment. Through suicide prevention efforts, we can reduce risk and promote resilience and coping.


  • Recognize. Be aware of the warning signs of youth suicide. Learning the signs and taking part in mental health awareness campaigns is important, as is ensuring that teens have open channels for talking about their emotions. Actions such as these will help us recognize when something is off, while reducing any stigma around seeking help for mental health issues. Every young person needs someone to confide in about their thoughts and feelings.


  • Respond. Learn to be comfortable supporting those who appear emotionally distressed. #BeThe1To offers five action steps for communicating with someone who may be considering suicide:

(1) ask in a non-judgmental and supportive way

(2) be there so they feel connected

(3) keep them safe

(4) help them connect to supports

(5) follow up to see how they are doing.


Respond is also about putting additional strategies in place, such as increased regular mental health check-ins, during times of increased stress and reduced coping.

How to Help

Suicide Statistics

* Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youths age 14–18 years. (CDC)


* During 2019: approximately one in five (18.8%) youths had seriously considered suicide.

  • one in six (15.7%) had made a suicide plan

  • one in 11 (8.9%) had made an attempt

  • one in 40 (2.5%) had made a suicide attempt requiring medical treatment. (CDC)


* New CDC data reveal that almost one in five teens across the nation have seriously considered attempting suicide. Picture a typical high school classroom of 25 students. About five of those students could be thinking about suicide.


* These numbers are scary—and become even more alarming when we look at the data over time; trends suggest that we are facing a teen suicide pandemic. Over the past 20 years, suicide rates have skyrocketed by over 60 percent, with almost every suicide indicator and student population showing increasing trends. (Sandra M. Chafouleas, PhD., Psychology Today)


* Keep in mind that the data reviewed here were collected prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 and associated struggles.  Early data indicates our youth are having significant mental wellness challenges. We all must take part in a comprehensive approach to prevent, recognize, and respond to this crisis. (Sandra M. Chafouleas, PhD., Psychology Today)

* Parents and guardians play a key role in youth suicide prevention. They need to be informed and actively involved in decisions regarding their child’s welfare. Parents and guardians who learn the warning signs and risk factors for suicide are better equipped to connect their children with professional help when necessary. Parents and guardians should be advised to take every statement regarding suicide and wish to die, seriously and avoid assuming that a child is simply seeking attention.  (Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention)

Gender Disparities

  • Suicide among males is 4x’s higher than among females. Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides. (CDC)

  • Firearms are the most commonly used method of suicide among males (51%). (CDC)

  • Females are more likely than males to have had suicidal thoughts. (CDC)

  • Females experience depression at roughly 2x’s the rate of men.(SMH)

  • Females attempt suicide 3x’s as often as males. (CDC)

  • Poisoning is the most common method of suicide for females. (CDC)


General Statistics (USA)

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)

  • Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)

  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)

  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)

  • Suicide takes the lives of over 48,300 Americans every year. (CDC)

  • The highest suicide rates in the US are among Whites, American Indians and Alaska Natives.

  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)

  • 80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TADS study)

  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).

  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)

  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

Age Disparities

  • 1 in 100,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)

  • 7 in 100,000 youth ages 15 to 19 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)

  • 12.7 in 100,000 young adults ages 20-24 die by suicide each year. (NIMH)

  • The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicidal planning and suicide attempts is significantly higher among adults aged 18-29 than among adults aged 30+. (CDC)

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)

  • Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)

  • The highest increase in suicide is in males 50+ (30 per 100,000). (CDC)

  • Suicide rates for females are highest among those aged 45-54 (9 per 100,000). (CDC)

  • Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75+ (36 per 100,000). (CDC)

  • Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed. (SMH)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual kids are 3x more likely than straight kids to attempt suicide at some point in their lives.

  • Medically serious attempts at suicide are 4x more likely among LGBTQ youth than other young people.

  • African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American people who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual attempt suicide at especially high rates.

  • 41% of trans adults said they had attempted suicide, in one study. The same study found that 61% of trans people who were victims of physical assault had attempted suicide.

  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual young people who come from families that reject or do not accept them are over 8x more likely to attempt suicide than those whose families accept them.

  • Each time an LGBTQ person is a victim of physical or verbal harassment or abuse, they become 2.5x more likely to hurt themselves.

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