Subject: Youth Suicide Prevention – An Invitation to Join the Conversation
April 17, 2019
Redmond Schools Families,
In Oregon, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24, surpassed only by accidents. Youth suicide is a serious problem, but there is hope.
Nationwide, for every death by suicide, there are 280 people who seriously think about suicide — but instead choose to live. That’s 280 remarkable stories of hope and healing.
This week, journalists from across Oregon have been doing something incredible: they have devoted time to report on stories of suicide prevention and stories of healing and hope. For the first time in history, journalists have banned together to tell these stories in the context of the public health crisis, to help break the silence on suicide, erase stigma, and launch an overdue and public conversation about suicide prevention.
Here at home, we are continuing the conversation of hope, help and healing with two interactive sessions taking place next week that are aimed at helping parents and community members learn more about youth suicide prevention, how to find help during stressful times, and how to normalize the conversation around suicide.
Please make time to join us at our upcoming Hope, Help & Heal event:
Hope, Help & Heal: Promote Hope. Get Help. Support Healing.
Redmond: Ridgeview High School, April 25, 6:00-7:30 PM
Free desserts served from 5:30-5:50 PM
Free childcare from 5:45-7:30 PM
Registration is available online and helps with food counts, but is not required.
Please join us as we fuel the power to get involved, to help find help and to provide the help need to ensure our family, friends and neighbors need not suffer alone.
We hope you will join us in this community conversation about preventing youth suicide. Together, we can do this.
Executive Director of Student Services
Hope, Help & Heal Resources
A message from our friends at Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance:
“We want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that a sudden death by suicide, when it does occur, is a very complicated act. No one single thing causes it. But in many cases, a mental health condition can be part of it, and these conditions are treatable. It’s really important if you or someone you love is not feeling well in any way to reach out for help. Each of us will react to a sudden death in our own way, and we need to be respectful of each other. Feeling sad is a normal response to any loss. Some of you may not be affected and others may experience a great deal of sadness. Some of you may find you are having difficulty concentrating, and others may find that diving into your work is a good distraction.”
Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Text 273TALK to 839-863
Local crisis line: 541-322-7500, Ext. 9
Contact school counseling center or other mental health professional
Visit the County walk-in center, 2577 NE Courtney, Bend, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visit a School Based Health Clinic
Resources specific to teens:
Oregon YouthLine (teen-to-teen crisis and help line)
Text: teen2teen to 839863
Tips for Talking About a Suicide Death
- Avoid misinformation. Suicide is complex. There are almost always multiple causes, including (but not limited to) mental illness that may not have been recognized or treated. However, it’s important to note that these illnesses are treatable
- Avoid saying that death by suicide was preceded by a single event, such as a recent job loss, divorce or relationship breakup, traumatic event, or bad grades. Attributing a suicide to a single event leaves students with an overly simplistic and misleading understanding of suicide.
- Use careful language and do not refer to suicide as “successful” or a “failed attempt.” Instead describe as “died by suicide,” or “killed him/herself” (instead of “committed suicide”).
- Promote stories and resources about hope and actions everybody can take to help others who are struggling. Research shows that sharing stories of hope can help protect vulnerable people from suicide risk.
- A guide that may be useful in speaking with students about trauma: A Guide for Youth: Understanding Trauma
- Know the suicide warning signs