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 didnt 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 didnt want to leave!! This place was my new home. I didnt want to go!

Most young people in crisis dont 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. Dont be afraid to ask. Dont 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 someones 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 dont have a clue that anything is wrong. Sometimes its hard to get help for a troubled friend because youre afraid theyll accuse you of telling on them. Just remember that silence places you both at riskyour 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. Its not unreasonable to regard these thoughts as a direct threat to your friends life. It is also not advisable to think that you can handle things on your own. You cant. Nobody can.

Take the person seriously. Dont assume theyre just being dramatic or wanting attention. And dont be afraid of making them mad at you. Wouldnt 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.

Its hard living as a transgender person in a world where harassers roam free. But I live as myself, regardless of everyone elses 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 dont 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 its exceptionally hard to deal with when people cant just accept you for who you are. According to society, abnormal just isnt right, and though I dont do anything to purposefully make anyone upset with me, I am still dealing with a lot of harassment. My other trans friends say thats why they didnt 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, its not that solutions dont exist, only that you are currently unable to see them.

talkBubbleFind someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. If you cant 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 cant do things on your own. Asking for help is an act of courage, not a sign of weakness.

Thoughts of ending your own life dont 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 persons 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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