New York Association of School Psychologists & New York Office of Mental Health Present “Is It Just the Blues? Adolescent Depression and Suicide Prevention:”
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New York Association of School Psychologists & New York Office of Mental Health Present “Is It Just the Blues? Adolescent Depression and Suicide Prevention:” A Workshop for Teachers
You are always there… Teachers are significant adults in the lives of students Remember… The student who returned to say “Thank you.” The student who always looked for you after school “to talk”
You are always there… But will you really be there when they need you the most? Do you know what to do when the student says the most terrifying words a teacher can hear…. “I want to die.” There are skills every teacher needs to learn and use to save one child.
Can you hear what I say? Sometimes students say Don’t worry about me, nobody cares Please don’t tell anyone about what I said. I really trust you. My parents would be so angry if you talk to them. Please, please, please don’t tell them! Should you remain silent in order to keep the student’s trust?
Can you hear the feelings? My words will give me away. I sound… Sad Empty Hopeless Pessimistic Helpless
Do you really see me? I have no energy My clothes look like I’ve worn them for days. Maybe they are all black. I find new friends. They are really different! I gain weight. I lose weight. I am cutting classes. I am angry and getting into fights I drink and drug a lot. Never used to….
I am changing… You are the one who can say, this is not the student I know. You know my personality, my friends, my habits, my look, my strengths, my weaknesses, my good days, my bad days. Why are all the days bad now??
I know I don’t seem to be myself I suddenly change my ways I can’t make decisions I can’t concentrate, even on things I like I stay alone, away I don’t do the things I used to enjoy I hurt all the time
How can a Teacher help? Be conscious about the signs and symptoms of suicidal children Bring concerns to appropriate staff members so they can intervene Connect the student to the staff member who can help them seek treatment It is not your job to “diagnose” the problem
How can a Teacher help? Know information about local emergency resources Know the school psychologist and/or social worker in your building Know the procedures for intervention in the school Never fall into the mistaken belief that you alone can save this child.
What is Depression in teens all about? Depression is a serious medical condition Risk factors increase the possibility of depressive illnesses Among 25 friends, one could be clinically depressed. With the appropriate treatment, 80%-90% of people with depression can be helped.
Risk Factors for Suicide in Teens Family history – genetic factors Difficult life experiences Difficulty handling stress Low self-esteem Drug abuse Alcohol abuse
Helping and Healing Our students depend on us to… Listen when others can’t See when others look away Understand changes when others say, “It’s a phase” Hear when we say suicide. And better yet, you take us seriously and Act