When I was 7, my dad got a job overseas, in a country I had never even heard of. I had to leave behind my childhood and move to a town where I didn’t speak the language. It was tough starting school. It was a small school with only about 60 students. Soon after I settled in I began to love this new place. I loved all my classmates and they all loved me!!

When I turned 13 my parents told me the news. I was moving back home. I didn’t want to leave!! This place was my new home. I didn’t want to go!

Most young people in crisis don’t consider or attempt suicide. There may come a time, however, when someone you know and care about starts having a bad time or showing signs of suicidal behavior. Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. It is estimated that 80% of those thinking about suicide want others to be aware of their emotional pain and to keep them from dying.

realityCheckTalking about suicide or suicidal thoughts will not plant the idea in someone’s mind. Instead, it can come as a great relief to that person to know that someone cares.

It is also not true that people who talk about killing themselves will not actually try it. It is important for you to take them seriously.

You may know your friends better than their own parents do. And you may observe that something is bothering one of your classmates even when your teachers and guidance counselors don’t have a clue that anything is wrong. Sometimes it’s hard to get help for a troubled friend because you’re afraid they’ll accuse you of telling on them. Just remember that silence places you both at risk—your friend for death by suicide and you for tremendous feelings of guilt if that happens.

Never promise to keep information about suicide a secret.

timeTime can be crucial when dealing with a friend who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. It’s not unreasonable to regard these thoughts as a direct threat to your friend’s life. It is also not advisable to think that you can handle things on your own. You can’t. Nobody can.

Take the person seriously. Don’t assume they’re just being dramatic or wanting attention. And don’t be afraid of making them mad at you. Wouldn’t you rather have them alive?

Tell a trusted adult, someone who will know what to do. Get them the help they need.

Silence can be deadly.

It’s hard living as a transgender person in a world where harassers roam free. But I live as myself, regardless of everyone else’s standards.

I am Alex.  I am into video games and card games and the usual thing for a nerdy, 16-year-old boy. But on top of that, I am transgender. I was born with this female body. But in mind and emotion, I am fully male. I don’t see it as that big of a deal, but unfortunately others do.

Being trans in high school has to be one of the toughest things because on top of academic responsibility, your social life needs to be looked over. I believe this goes for everyone. But it’s exceptionally hard to deal with when people can’t just accept you for who you are. According to society, abnormal just isn’t right, and though I don’t do anything to purposefully make anyone upset with me, I am still dealing with a lot of harassment. My other trans friends say that’s why they didn’t come out in high school.

Feeling hopeless or suicidal is a common experience. You are not alone. It is estimated that one in six people feel seriously suicidal at some point in their lives.

If you are unable to think of solutions other than suicide, it’s not that solutions don’t exist, only that you are currently unable to see them.

talkBubbleFind someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. If you can’t talk to your parents, find someone else, if not a friend, then a trusted adult: a relative, program leader, teacher, school nurse or guidance counselor. (For other possibilities, go to Resources in Your Community.) Asking for help does not mean that you are helpless or can’t do things on your own. Asking for help is an act of courage, not a sign of weakness.

Thoughts of ending your own life don’t necessarily mean that you want to die, only that you have more pain than you feel you can cope with right now. The crisis you are experiencing is real. Although it may seem to you that there are no solutions, why not give somebody else a chance to come up with something? Others may be thinking more clearly than you are at this time. Let someone in your life help you.

Do not keep suicidal thoughts to yourself. Tell someone you trust.

Avoid using alcohol or drugs when you are feeling desperate or in crisis. Yes, they can numb your feelings but they can also affect your judgment. Try this instead. Make a promise to yourself. Say, “I will not hurt myself for at least 24 hours." Then think of three people you know that you might want to talk to. Reach out to one of them and ask if you could talk to them if you are feeling really badly. Ask for help.

itwillgetbetterSuicidal crises are almost always temporary and once over, might never come again. Feelings change, perspectives change, life can be surprising and time can make all the difference. Although you may be feeling terrible right now, remember that you are important, that there are people who care about you, need you and would miss you if you were gone. You have a unique place in the big picture.

You matter.

You can get help.

Risk factors are stressful events, situations or conditions that may increase the likelihood of suicide. Risk factors neither predict nor cause suicide, however, they can affect a person’s ability to cope or to see alternative solutions to their problems. How might the following situations affect a person's ability to cope?

Risk Factors for Suicide:

  • Mental disorders (mood, anxiety, posttraumatic stress and certain personality disorders)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • One or more prior suicide attempts
  • Easy access to a firearm, pills, other lethal means
  • The suicide of a peer or a suicide cluster in the community
  • Family history of suicide
  • Loss of a loved one or the end of a significant relationship
  • History of trauma or abuse

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