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Mental Health

*In the event of and emergency, please call 911*




  • Support:

    When someone is at an increased risk of suicide, it is crucial to have increased support from family and friends. When people are having thoughts of suicide, they often feel like a burden to their loved ones, so ongoing expressions of care and concern are vital.

    • Listen non-judgmentally
      • Do not get angry
    • Provide emotional support
    • Talk to them about tomorrow, help them be future-oriented
    • Look up/Learn about their specific symptoms/diagnosis (if they have one)
    • Help them access mental health services (psychiatry, counseling, etc.)


    Keep the environment safe:

    • Provide additional supervision, do not leave the person alone


    Remove access to things that someone could use to cause harm or kill oneself:

    • Secure ALL firearms and ammunition
      -     Best practice is to remove guns entirely from the home
    • Change your lock codes and where you hide your keys for safes and cabinets
    • Do not store ammunition and guns in the same location
    • Secure ALL sharps: knives, shaving razors (these are used often for self-harm), hunting blades, etc.
    • Secure ALL medications: prescription and over the counter
    • Secure ropes, cords, etc.

    Click here to read 6 Facts Parents Should Know about Mental Illness in Teens

  • Having the urge to self-harm or end your life is a terrible feeling. It is important to remind yourself that the feeling will not last forever. The best way to get through the intense urges is to distract yourself. Distracting yourself from the urges will help you to pass the time and stay safe. Below is a list of ideas to help distract you:

    • Go for a walk
    • Take a shower
    • Cuddle with a pet
    • Help out a family member with something
    • Watch some videos
    • Listen to music
    • Call a friend
    • Snap rubber bands/hair ties on your wrists
    • Hold ice cubes
    • Tear up paper
    • Ground yourself to the present:
      Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste.
    • Go for a run
    • Lift weights, or heavy things around your room
    • Re-arrange your furniture
    • Squeeze a stress ball
    • Hit a pillow
    • Scream into a pillow
    • Scribble onto a piece of paper
    • Write down all of the thoughts racing through your head
    • Color
    • Call 1-800-659-6994 (Tri County Crisis hotline)
    • Text 741741 (Crisis Text Line)
    • Make something out of clay or Play-Doh and then smash it
    • Pop bubble wrap
    • Take a nap
    • Read a book
    • Read a book backwards
    • Drink your favorite drink (Avoid caffeine if you are feeling anxious)
    • Take deep breaths to calm down (Inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6)
    • Make a list (your favorite songs, favorite movies, favorite pet names, animals that start with ‘A’, etc.)
    • Listen to a Podcast (Meditation Minis, The Anxiety Coaches Podcast, Victims and Villains, The Happiness Lab, Therapy for Black Girls, etc.)
    • Write a letter to the person bothering you
    • Clean something
    • Take something apart and put it back together
    • Draw on your skin with pen or marker
    • Learn something new
    • Finish your homework
    • Do laundry
    • Get on Pinterest
    • Pray
    • Watch a documentary
    • Blow up balloons and then pop them
    • Play a game on your phone
    • Download a wellness app (try Mood Mission, Happify, 7 Cups, Youper, Super Better, Calm)
    • Write in a journal
    • Choose an object near you. Study it, and then write down every detail about it.
    • Count backwards from 100 by 7
    • Put glue on your hands and then peel it off
    • Ball up pieces of paper and throw it
    • Go through your closet and remove things you no longer wear
    • Paint your fingernails/toenails
    • Try a yoga class on Youtube (Yoga with Adrienne, Body Positive Yoga, Bad Yogi Yoga, Cosmic Kids Yoga)
    • Visit these websites for more ideas:
  • Warning signs indicate that someone may be in danger of suicide, either immediately or in the near future. Warning signs can differ by age, group, culture, and individual.  The American Association of Suicidology has compiled the following lists of common warning signs and risk factors for suicide.


    • Someone threatening to hurt or kill themselves
      • Threats can be made in person, via text, social media, writing, etc.
    • Someone looking for ways to kill themselves
      • Seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means
    • Someone talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
    • Someone giving away all of their belongings, or making plans for a future without them in it (i.e. securing someone to take a pet if they are gone)
    • Hopelessness—expresses no reason for living, no sense of purpose in life
    • Rage, anger, seeking revenge
    • Recklessness or risky behavior, seemingly without thinking
    • Expressions of feeling trapped—like there’s no way out
    • Increased alcohol or drug use
    • Withdrawal from friends, family, or society
    • Anxiety, agitation, inability to sleep, or constant sleep
    • Dramatic mood changes
    • No reason for living, no sense of purpose in life


  • Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools


    American Academy of Pediatrics: COVID-19 and Adolescent Depression and Suicide Risk Screening Outcomes


    American Academy of Pediatrics: Social Media and Its Impact on Adolescents


  • Depression Signs & Symptoms

    • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
    • Fatigue
    • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
    • Pessimism and hopelessness
    • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
    • Crankiness or irritability
    • Restlessness
    • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable
    • Overeating, or appetite loss
    • Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won't go away
    • Digestive problems that don't get better, even with treatment
    • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
    • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

    Click HERE to read 6 Facts Parents Should Know about Mental Illness in Teens