Suicide

Prevention

Why We Talk About Suicide

Discussions about mental health and suicide prevention with your children can be a sensitive and challenging responsibility. We recognize the significance of addressing this critical issue and are committed to providing you with valuable insights, along with the necessary guidance, resources, and support to navigate these conversations effectively. Research shows that talking or asking about suicide will not make someone more likely to do it or put them more at risk. Engaging in an open, non-judgemental conversation with a teen about their feelings, mental health, and well-being is key to maintaining their emotional safety. At WYWETALK, we strive to empower parents, equipping them with practical strategies, expert advice, and actionable tips that foster a safe and open dialogue. Together, we can make a difference.

Suicide Prevention

Facts About Teen Suicide

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers worldwide. In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 24 years old.

In the US, approximately 20% of high school students have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, while around 9% made a plan for suicide.

Contributing Factors

Mental Health Conditions
Mental Health
Bullying or Peer Victimization
Bullying
Family Problems
Family Problems
Academic Pressure
Academic Pressures
Loss or Trauma
Suicide Prevention
LGBTQ+
LGBTQ+
Substance Use
Supervision

Contributing Factors

Mental Health Conditions
Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or substance use disorders can significantly increase the risk of suicidal ideation.
Bullying or Peer Victimization
Persistant bullying, both in person or online, can lead to feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and lack of self-worth, increasing the risk of suicide.
Family Problems
Family conflicts, strained relationships, divorce, domestic violence, or a history of parental substance use can contribute to feelings of despair and vulnerability.
Academic Pressure
High expectations, competition, and fear of failure can place significant stress on teenagers.
Loss or Trauma
Loss of a loved one, a significant life change, or traumatic events such as physical or sexual abuse can contribute to increased risk.
LGBTQ+ Identity Struggles
Social stigma, discrimination, rejection, and internal struggles with sexual orientation or gender identity can increase the risk of suicidal ideation and attempts.
Substance Use
Substance use, combined with underlying mental health issues, can exacerbate feelings of despair and increase the risk of suicide.
Suicide Tranlastions Suicide Translations text

Identifying Terminology

Suicidal ideation is the presence of thoughts or ideas of self-harm or ending ones own life. When you hear someone use terms that are alluding to suicidal ideation, it can be an indicator that they might have had some thoughts about suicide. Below are some examples of things you might hear or receive from your youth, and some potential responses. It is important to use words that are natural to you and your child, and also to note that words like this need to be taken very seriously. This can be a scary conversation. It is imperative to plan a time in person to talk to your child about their feelings before those feelings turn into actions.

Drag the slider to reveal possible responses!

Know The Phrases: I can’t take it anymore Everyone would be better off without me I’m just tired of it all I don’t see a way out I wish I could just end it” or “I want to be gone

Identifying Terminology

Suicidal ideation is the presence of thoughts or ideas of self-harm or ending ones own life. When you hear someone use terms that are alluding to suicidal ideation, it can be an indicator that they might have had some thoughts about suicide. Below are some examples of things you might hear or receive from your youth, and some potential responses. It is important to use words that are natural to you and your child, and also to note that words like this need to be taken very seriously. This can be a scary conversation. It is imperative to plan a time in person to talk to your child about their feelings before those feelings turn into actions.

Know The Phrase: Lit Borg Pregame Postgame Darty Function/Func Kickback Rager Sloshed The Plug Throw Down Turnt

Drag the slider to reveal the translations!
Terminology Translation

What Does It Look Like?

Teenage suicide can manifest in various ways. It is essential to understand that each persons experience is quite different. While it is important to be aware of potential signs and behaviors, it is equally important to approach the topic with sensitivity and empathy. Here are some common aspects to consider when observing warning signs of suicidal ideation in your child.

Pulse Check

Time and place is one of the most pivotal parts of great dialogue. By asking some simple open-ended questions you can truly get a pulse on if your child is in a good state of mind to have a conversation with you. Here are some examples of ways to check the pulse of your child’s openness to conversation:

If your child does not respond in a positive manner, it’s okay. Try asking a pulse check question another day.

Conversation Tips By Age

Middle School

Engaging in conversations about suicide prevention with middle schoolers is crucial. This stage of their lives is marked not only by physiological changes, but by various influences and exposure to new experiences as well, making it essential to address the topic proactively. The aim is to initiate these conversations before any signs of distress arise or suicidal thoughts become a serious concern. Remember, these conversations should be ongoing and adapted to the needs and maturity level of your middle schooler. Encourage them to ask questions, and provide a safe space for open dialogue. If any immediate concerns arise or a child expresses thoughts of self-harm or suicide, seek professional help promptly. 

Here are some talking points to consider when discussing suicide prevention: 

  • Have you noticed any changes in your mood or emotions lately? Are there times when you feel sad, anxious, or overwhelmed?
  • What should you do if you start having feelings like that?
  • Are there any times you feel really sad or really anxious? Can you tell me about a time that you have felt that way? 
Middle School

If you are in an immediate crisis text or call 988

  • Are there any specific concerns or worries that you have about bullying? 
  • Have you ever heard anyone talking about suicide or self-harm at school or online? What are your thoughts on these conversations?
  • Are there any worries or pressures you have that you think might be too much to handle on your own?
  • Who do you feel most comfortable talking to when you need support or someone to listen to you? Are there things I can do to help you feel supported?
  • Do you feel you have a healthy relationship with everyone in our family? If not, what are things I can do to help?
  • What are some ways that we can work together to create a safe and supportive environment for everyone? 
  • If one of your friends told you that they were having suicidal thoughts, what are things that you could do?

High School

High school is a critical period where discussing suicide prevention becomes increasingly vital. Struggles with mental health and the impact of suicidal ideation during this time can have profound and lifelong consequences for teenagers, and it is crucial to have ongoing conversations about suicide prevention at this stage of their lives. It is important to acknowledge that teenagers often face pressure to conform and may encounter peers engaging in risky behaviors. As parents, it is essential to approach these conversations with a non-judgmental attitude, creating a safe space for open dialogue. By fostering understanding and empathy, you can better support your teenager and address the challenges they may encounter. If any immediate concerns arise or a child expresses thoughts of self-harm or suicide, seek professional help promptly.

Here are some talking points to consider when discussing suicide prevention: 

High School

If you are in an immediate crisis text or call 988

  • How are you feeling about your current school load? Is your stress level manageable? 
  • Why do you think people would consider suicide?
  • What should you do if you start to have feelings like that?
  • Are there any specific concerns or worries that you have about bullying?
  • Can you tell me about a time you felt alone or misunderstood? Can you tell me some ways you worked through that?
  • What role do you feel social media plays in your mental health? 
  • Have you noticed any changes in your friends’ or classmates’ behaviors or moods that worry you? How can we support them? 
  • Have you ever been in a situation where someone around you was talking about hurting themselves or suicide? How did you feel?
  • Have you ever heard anyone talking about suicide or self-harm at school or online? What are your thoughts on these conversations?
  • What role do you think parents and schools should play in educating young people about suicide prevention?

Young Adult

As your child grows into a young adult, they are going through many life changes and are experiencing pressures in regard to relationships, work, continued education, and much more. The conversation shifts into thinking about mental health and the support systems put in place for a person in their young adult phase of life. As always, we want to come off non-judgmentally and help steward a productive conversation. We can be a resource for how to get out of scary situations, we can provide a support system for our children, and use this as an opportunity to build trust so that if those situations occur, they will reach out to you for help and the help of others. If any immediate concerns arise or your child expresses thoughts of self-harm or suicide, seek professional help promptly.

Here are some talking points to consider when discussing suicide prevention:

High School

If you are in an immediate crisis text or call 988

  • How are you feeling about your transition to college/work? Is there anything particularly challenging for you?
  • Have you noticed any significant changes in your mood or behavior lately? I want you to know that I’m here to listen and support you.
  • Adulthood can be stressful at times. How are you coping with stress? Are there any strategies or resources that you find helpful?
  • I’ve heard about the rising rates of mental health concerns among young adults. What are your thoughts on this issue?
  • What role do you feel social media plays in your mental health? 
  • Are you aware of the mental health services available to you? Have you ever considered reaching out to them?
  • Have you ever heard anyone talking about suicide or self-harm at school or online? How do you think we can help those in need?
  • If you were concerned about a friend’s well-being, do you know who you could turn to for support or guidance?
  • Do you think there is enough awareness about mental health and suicide prevention on campus or at work? What more do you think can be done?

Action
Checklist

Our goal is to provide you with actionable steps to promote mental health and prevent suicide among children and teenagers. This checklist offers a structured approach to address these crucial issues. By being prepared, you can actively engage with your children, build trust, and support responsible decision-making, ultimately reducing the risk of suicide and its potential consequences.

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Action
Checklist

Our goal is to provide you with actionable steps to promote mental health and prevent suicide among children and teenagers. This checklist offers a structured approach to address these crucial issues. By being prepared, you can actively engage with your children, build trust, and support responsible decision-making, ultimately reducing the risk of suicide and its potential consequences.

Action
Checklist

Our goal is to provide you with actionable steps to promote mental health and prevent suicide among children and teenagers. This checklist offers a structured approach to address these crucial issues. By being prepared, you can actively engage with your children, build trust, and support responsible decision-making, ultimately reducing the risk of suicide and its potential consequences.

Need More Help?

Use the regional map to the right to find assistance in your area, or please head to our contact page.

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Find Local Help

Resource Map

uintacountyprevention.com

Prevention Specialist: Kendra Safford

kendra.safford1@wyo.gov

Prevention Specialist: Andrew Tarrell
 

facebook.com/lccpartnership

Prevention Specialist: Brittany Wardle and Angela Vaughn

brittany.wardle@crmcwy.org

angela.vauhn@crmcwy.org

facebook.com/LincolnPreventingATODSAbuse

Prevention Specialist: Brittany Ritter

britter@lcwy.org

Anne Petroski

anne.petroski1@wyo.gov

The Comprehensive Community Coalition 

facebook.com/GoshenCountyPrevention

Prevention Specialist: Lynette Saucedo

lynettesaucedo@yahoo.com

subletterpreventioncoalition.org

Prevention Specialist: Trisha Scott

rebecca.crowe@wyo.gov

fremontcountyprevention.com

Prevention Specialist: Tauna Groomsmith

tauna.groomsmith@wyo.gov

Community Prevention Coalition of Teton County

https://www.facebook.com/CPCTetonCounty

Prevention Specialist: Beverly Shore

beverly.shore@wyo.gov

hotspringscountyprevention.org

Prevention Specialist: Jennifer Cheney

jcheney@hotsprings1.org

Campbell County Prevention Council:

campbellcountyprevention.org

Campbell County Suicide Prevention Coalition:

Prevention Specialist: 

Ashley.McRae@campbellcountywy.gov

21 Alliance Prevention Coalition

facebook.com/WestonCountyPrevention

Prevention Specialist: Kristi Lipp

klipp0204@gmail.com

Healthy Park County

healthyparkcounty.org

Prevention Specialist: Wendy Morris

wendy@healthyparkcounty.org

Big Horn County Prevention Alliance

facebook.com/BHCPrevention

Prevention Specialist: Travis Sylvester

travis@bhcprevention.com

Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention of Sheridan County

facebook.com/ASAPSheridanCounty

Sheridan County Suicide Prevention Coalition

Prevention Specialist: Ann Perkins

aperkins@sheridancounty.com