A Cry for Help, Are You Listening?
Join the fight To prevent Suicide
- “Globally, Every 40 seconds one person dies by suicide. That translates to 800,000 deaths annually.” (World Health Organization (who.int) Mental health.)
- “In the U.S., suicide is the second leading cause of death for people age 10 thru 34.” (According to 2019 stats from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH Suicide Statistics Webpage)
- “In 2019, there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts in the U.S. resulting in 47,511 deaths.” (AFSP Suicide statistics)
- “One death occurs for every twenty attempted suicides worldwide” (https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use/suicide-data (2019)
These statistics indicate that people are crying out for help. So how can educators help?
Teachers, administrators, and concerned individuals, you can address this crisis as the school year starts. Campaign to make a difference in your class, school, and community by helping raise awareness.
September 10th marks World Suicide Prevent Day. Inform and educate the students in your school through lessons in your classroom or a speaker at a school assembly.
Recognize the warning signs your students or friends might display.
Here are 12 indicators from the National Institute of Mental Health:
Those who are contemplating suicide talk about:
- Wanting to die
- Having tremendous guilt or shame
- Being a burden to others
They may feel:
- Empty, hopeless, trapped, or have no reason to live,
- Extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage.
- Unbearable emotional or physical pain,
They might exhibit behavior changes:
- Making a plan or researching ways to die,
- Withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, or giving away important items, or making a will
- Taking dangerous risks such as driving too fast.
- Displaying extreme mood swings,
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Using drugs or alcohol more often”
5 Practical steps you can take to save a life (from “Be The 1 To”)
- Be There
- Keep Them Safe
- Help Them Connect
- Follow Up
You can help save a life by sharing these warning signs and 5 steps to save a life with the students in your classroom. The 5 Steps and other resources are available in Spanish also. Talk with your principal about Implementing this in your school as an annual event.
Fight for those who have lost hope. Hang up the #BeThe1To posters in your school or community to get the message out. You can create your own poster that addresses your specific audience by following their guidelines.
Teachers and administrators, consider incorporating this Suicide Prevention planning into your school calendar every September. The life you save could be one that you know.
- Post the suicide hotline number (800-273-8255) and text info: text Talk to 741741 in your classroom.
- Have your students take out their cell phones and add the suicide prevention number and text info to their contact list so they can use it or share it with a friend.
- Let your students know that you are available if they need to talk, if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts.
- Tell your students If a friend is struggling, don’t keep a secret. Tell a teacher, parent, help them seek help.
- Share Suicide Prevention Resources on Social media such as #BeThe1To.
Suicide Fact Sheet:
- Arabic: حالات الانتحار
- Chinese (simplified)- 自杀手段
- English – Suicide
- French – 17 juin 2021 Suicide
- Russian – 17 июня 2021 г. Самоубийство
- Spanish – Suicidio
Websites and Helplines:
- National Suicide Prevention Number: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
Social Media Resources and Downloads:
- SAVE: Suicide Prevention, Information, and Awareness (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).
- Preventing suicide : information for teachers
- Preventing suicide and coping with loss
- Launch of WHO LIVE LIFE – Guide on suicide prevention
- Suicidal: One Man’s Road to Recovery: What we’ve learned through research Scroll down the page to watch Gregg’s story. Learn what it is like to struggle with suicidal thoughts and how to get help.
Grief Support for Survivors:
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org)
- Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (save.org)
- Suicide Prevention Lifelines.org
- Suicide Stop.com
- World Health Organization