Archive for September, 2012

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Monday, September 17th, 2012

September is Suicide Prevention Month – a good time to recognize organizations that provide preventative and crisis intervention specific to LGBT youth and young adults. Suicide is a serious problem, one that affects young people in general and LGBT youth specifically. Check out some info below, taken from the Trevor Project, and go to their website to learn more. If you are feeling suicidal remember that you are not alone. If you need support, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 to speak with a trained volunteer counselor.

Did You Know?

  • Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt (2007 , The American Association of Suicidology, Grossman, D’Augelli, “Transgender Youth and Life-Threatening Behaviors”)

Suicide Prevention

Warning Signs of Suicide

Often a suicidal person may give a sign or hint in some way that they plan to attempt suicide. Here are some warning signs and facts you should be aware of.


RECOGNIZING THE SIGNS

Have you heard someone…?

Describe a specific plan for suicide: “I’ve thought about how I’d do it.”

Expressing hopelessness or helplessness: “Things will never get better for me.”

Talk positively about a suicide death: “I think she was brave for going through with it.”

Say goodbye to important people: “You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I’ll miss you.”

Express a lack of interest in the future: “It won’t matter soon anyway.”

Express a negative attitude toward self: “I don’t deserve to live.”

Express suicidal feelings: “Lately I’ve felt like ending it all.”

Have you noticed someone…?

Using drugs or alcohol more than usual

Behaving differently than how they usually do

Giving away their most valuable possessions

Losing interest in their favorite activities or hobbies

Planning for death by writing a will or letter

Have you felt…?

Helpless

Unimportant

Trapped

Overwhelmed

Unmotivated

Completely alone

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are not alone.

Each year over 30,000 teens and young adults call the Trevor Lifeline when they recognize these signs and need someone to talk to.

The Trevor Project is here for you 24/7. If you need support, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 to speak with a trained volunteer counselor.

LOWERING THE RISK

Fortunately there are several factors which can help lower someone’s risk of considering suicide:

  • Easy access to effective, culturally competent care
  • Support from medical and mental health care professionals
  • Coping, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills
  • Restricted access to highly lethal means of suicide
  • Strong connections to family
  • Family acceptance of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity
  • A feeling of safety, support, and connectedness at school through peer groups like Gay-Straight Alliances.
  • Positive connections with friends who share similar interests
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide
  • Positive role models and self esteem


TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE

Because suicide is such an emotional topic, several organizations have come together to create resources to help people talk about suicide in a safe way:

  1. Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN): “Talking about Suicide and LGBT Populations
  2. American Association of Suicidology, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, and others: “Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide
  3. The Trevor Project’s Talk To Me initiative is asking people to take a “Talk to me pledge” to encourage young people to let friends know they are willing to be supportive when times are hard. Just three simple words that, when said out-loud, could help save a life.
  4. The Family Acceptance Project (FAP) has created materials that have been designated as best practices in suicide prevention by the National Suicide Prevention Registry. Multicultural and multilingual family education booklets, Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families support their LGBT children can be downloaded for free.