Tampa, FL – Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth and adults ages 10 – 34. September is Suicide Awareness Month and all segments of race, education and socio-economic backgrounds are affected by it. National youth studies organizations have also found that juveniles in foster care or the juvenile justice system have life experiences that put them at a higher suicide risk.
Most people, youth or adults, considering suicide are just trying to find a way to stop intolerable feelings or pain.Many mental health professionals report that another common thread of those considering suicide is a lack of communication. They explain that depressed individuals often become quiet and withdrawn and that many adolescents and teens may be embarrassed to reveal what is bothering them. Professionals advise to take statements such as “I want to die”, “Nothing matters” or “You won’t have to worry about me much longer” seriously.
There are several options for help if you know someone you believe is suicidal:
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, dial 211
National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800–273-TALK (8255)
Text Hotline, text Hello to 741741
Suicide prevention is part of GAL’s mandatory training for staff and volunteer advocates. GALs are given information on recognizing children who are at risk. Knowing how to identify the warning signs and how to help children and teens in crisis can save lives and create new opportunities to help children cope with anxiety and depression. Guardians are not counselors, but are caring adults who can help children through chaotic times.
Information sessions about the Guardian ad Litem program and what volunteers do are currently being held via phone. Learn more at www.galtampa.org or contact 813-272-5110.
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