Suicide Prevention Hotline
By providing a direct link to a live, trained suicide/mental health counselor 24 hours/day, 365 days/year, we provide kids with a place to call - anonymously - and talk through what could be the most dangerous half-hour of their life.
We believe every bit of help is vital. Here's why.
Ongoing harassment relating to sexting images leads to the unnecessary suicide of an Ohio high schooler. A 14 year old girl hanged herself in the restroom of her New York City middle school. An Ohio student stepped in front of a moving train after being bullied repeatedly.
Isolated instances? Unfortunately, such acts have become far too common. On average, one out of every three school districts loses a student to suicide each year - sometimes on their own campuses. The statistics are chilling:
- Youth suicide rates have tripled in the past 30 years.
- About 14 people between the ages of 15-24 commit suicide every day. Every year, almost 5,000 young people kill themselves.
- For each teen that commits suicide, 100 more will try. Yet suicide is preventable. Most suicidal persons desperately want to live. They are just unable to find alternatives to their problems.
Schools on the Defensive
Suicide is the third leading killer of 14-19 year olds in the United States, yet only one in 10 schools has a plan to prevent it, states Jessica Portner in Education Week. A notable change in public attitude has led to schools being held accountable for their actions in detecting and deterring teen suicide attempts.
Unfortunately, very few schools have suicide prevention plans that include screening, referrals and crisis intervention programs for youth.
Some districts are paying dearly in court. The number of lawsuits filed against school districts claiming negligence in student suicides has multiplied tenfold in the past 25 years. Parents are now aware they can sue. In each instance, the school has to prove it has not been negligent.
Today, nearly 60% of U.S. Schools discuss suicide prevention in some academic course during the school year. A study by University of Washington researchers suggest that students who practice a program of solving difficult dilemmas in their lives through role playing in group sessions with other students twice a week are less likely to be depressed or to exhibit suicidal behavior.
Another way to put a dent in the youth suicide rate is to persuade teenagers to tell adults when they or other students have such intentions. Talking about suicide does not cause someone to be suicidal, say the experts. It helps them avoid it.