PTSA Suicide Prevention Support and Resources
Our nation’s suicide rate among high school and middle school students has increased significantly over the last several years and decades**. The Shorewood PTSA endeavors to educate families, staff and students about the warning signs of students in mental states that lead to suicide ideation, attempts and completions. Our work with Suicide Prevention is guided by the WA State PTA resolution 2.13 Youth Suicide Prevention
Several years ago the Shorewood PTSA helped fund and organize the Forefront Suicide Prevention curriculum for students, staff and families. This training is still being carried forward. Information about Forefront can be found here.
MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER JC POHL
During the 2020-21 school year, the Shorewood PTSA co-sponsored a guest speaker event (“An Evening with JC Pohl”) on March 25, 2021. He spoke of several ways to build up and support our kids with his five keys to building resiliency:
One Charismatic Adult. It's important for each child to have at least one charismatic adult in their lives. This usually is not a parent. It tends to be teachers, relatives, or community members with whom they interact.
A True Connection. While social media enables people to connect peripherally, true and meaningful connections are formed through one-on-one interactions with those around us or with whom we share a common bond.
Solution Focused Thinking. We all have complaints and problems. Creating a sense of agency in our young people is a powerful tool when encouraging them to think and act independently. One way to help teenagers through problems is to phrase sentences starting with "I wonder":
I wonder what would happen if you tried...
I wonder if you could do ... differently.
I wonder how you could make a difference there …
Self-efficacy. This is a child's ability to bounce back after hardships and breakdowns. It usually includes a strong sense of self that they can rely upon when trying to grapple with the difficult things in life.
Making sure teens know they are not alone. Life does bring along occasional disappointments, stress and anxiety for each of us. And we all have relational needs. Guiding our teens through the process of healthy thinking and behaviors will increase their chances of positive outcomes and “bounce-backs” when tough moments occur. One way to do this is to acknowledge kids for their feelings rather than just their achievements in life.
The link to the recording of this event is here.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255 (English)
(888) 628-9454 (Spanish)
Crisis Connections: (866) 427-4747 (King County)
Teen Link: (866) 833-6546 (6-10 p.m.) or text "TEEN" to 839863 between 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. PST
Crisis Text Line: Text “HEAL” to 741741
Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860 (English)
(877) 565-8660 (Spanish)
UW Forefront: https://intheforefront.org/
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): https://nami.org/Home
** https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/NVSR-69-11-508.pdf Our nation's suicide rate among young people (10 - 24 years of age) has increased 57.4% between 2007 to 2018, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services/CDC.