Seeking Help is one of the bravest and most compassionate things you can do for yourself or a loved one.  Just by reaching out for help or encouraging someone you love to do so, you could be saving a precious life.

If you or a friend can relate to having any of the following feelings and behaviors for more than several days, you should seek professional help.  Remember that most mental illnesses are treatable and the first step to your recovery is seeking help!

  1. Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness; having low self-esteem.
  2. Withdrawal from friends, family and activities that used to be fun.
  3. Change in sleeping patterns and/or eating habits.
  4. Feeling more lethargic and tired.
  5. Mind feeling blurred and clouded; having trouble concentrating and making decisions.
  6. Heart beating faster than usual; feelings of restlessness.
  7. Feeling more irritable and angry than usual.
  8. Regular crying.
  9. Neglect of personal care.
  10. Reckless or impulsive behaviors; excessive use of drugs or alcohol.
  11. Persistent physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems or chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatment
  12. Thoughts about death or suicide.

Remember that: you are not alone

  • nearly 30% of high school students feel so depressed that it is hard to function
  • as a 17 year old, you are more likely to suffer from a life-threatening mental illness than a physical disease
  • mental illnesses are real, common and treatable

resources exist to help get you feeling better

  • from classic therapy to holistic methods to medicine – something will work for you
  • click here to find out more about the resources available to you

The following warning signs of suicide demand IMMEDIATE attention. 

If you or someone you love exhibits any of these signs, you should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255(TALK).  If you cannot reach someone on this line, go to an emergency room, make sure you or your loved one is not alone until professional help arrives and remove all firearms, sharp objects, drugs, alcohol and other things that could be used in a suicide attempt.

  1. Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself.
  2. Talking or writing about suicide or death.
  3. Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  4. Talking about being a burden to others and how the world would be better off without him/her.
  5. Talking about being trapped or in unbearable pain.
  6. Complete withdrawal.
  7. Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  8. Displaying extreme mood swings and acting recklessly.
  9. Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as searching online or obtaining access to firearms, pills, or other means to kill oneself.
  10. Giving away prized possessions and other personal things; tying up loose ends.

FACTS:

  • More than 36,000 people in  the United States die by suicide every year.  That is twice the rate of homicides and slightly greater than the number of traffic fatalities in the US.
  • A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes in the United States.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those ages 15-24.
  • 60-80% of teens who suffer from depression are untreated.

TRUTHS:

  • Suicide can be prevented.
  • Most people who are suicidal give definite warning signs that they plan to take their own lives. As a friend – by recognizing warning signs and taking action –  you can help.
  • Suicide is likely the outcome of an UNTREATED mental illness…by seeking help for abnormal feelings and behaviors and getting treatment, you can save yourself.
“Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher