Do you know who the most important people in your school are? Teachers? Administrators? Nope. The correct answer is you, the students.
You usually know what is happening before the adults in your school. You have your ear to the ground, you catch rumors, gossip, the buzz on social medial, and you are usually the first ones to know if a peer is in trouble.
A lot of kids struggle with feeling down or sad that they sometimes are unable to participate in normal activities. Some kids feel so bad that they think about suicide or even make suicide attempts. Some kids actually take their own lives.
You might be the first to see WARNING SIGNS that indicate that the person may be thinking about suicide. If you are worried about someone, click here to learn more. The warning signs are organized into FACTS to make them easier to remember.
So, if you notice any of these warning signs – or FACTS – what do you do?
It is important to take your observations seriously. Do not ignore them or assume your friend is just being dramatic. If you notice any of these warning signs, tell an adult. What you see may be a signal that your friend is thinking about suicide, and that is not something you can deal with on your own.
If your friend or someone you know makes a direct suicide threat, IMMEDIATELY tell a trusted adult. They might include someone from school like a teacher or a coach, or someone from your church, temple, neighborhood, or family. Whoever that person is, share your concerns and let them take action. If you have immediate concerns about your friend’s safety, before you speak with a trusted adult, call 911!
What do you do if you are having thoughts about suicide?
First, know that it is really brave to recognize that you are having suicidal thoughts. Next, do the same thing you would do for your friend – tell a trusted adult. Just as you can’t help your friend by yourself, you need to ask for help too.
There are lots of resources and skilled professionals who can help figure out why you feel that your life may not be worth living. They will also be able to help you stop feeling that way. Suicide is not just a reaction to stress – something more serious is going on and it is important to get help as soon as you can!
If you are unsure of what to do?
There are special hotlines you can call or text. Call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “GOT5” to 741-741.
You do not have to identify yourself if you would rather stay anonymous. Someone who has special training in helping people who have questions or concerns about suicide will be available to speak or text with you.
Resources for Students
- What Every Student Needs to Know: The Warning Signs of Suicide Risk
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline youth page
- The Trevor Project is a resource for LGBTQ teens (Access this link in Google Chrome)
- JED Foundation provides information for teens
- Suicide Awareness Voices for Education (SAVE)
- Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide