"My Life Matters"
Teen Suicide Awareness And Prevention Program – “My Life Matters”
Between 2010 and 2014, the Wood River Valley lost three teens and 16 others (several under the age of 25) to suicide. In 2014 the Crisis Hotline began hosting community conversations and collaborating with others to create a program to raise awareness and prevent teen suicides. They hired health professionals, counselors and met with the staff at the Blaine County School District to create a Teen Suicide and Awareness Program. Out of this work, the unique program “My Life Matters “was established in the fall of 2014.
School administrators have offered that the presentation has helped start the dialogue with their students about the dangers of untreated depression, and the importance of recognizing suicidal thoughts and getting help.
It has been shown that services such as those offered by the Hotline and our teen outreach programs in fact reduce self-harm and/or suicide. Suicide is almost always preventable with early identification of risk and proper intervention. Just the act of a suicidal person calling for help, even just to talk, has been shown to reduce the chances of an attempt for 4 to 5 weeks. We always help callers with follow-up resources and counseling. Friends who express concern and want to talk about the depression or suicidal behaviors are showing they care. This provides encouragement to get professional help and can get someone through a dangerous time.
“My Life Matters” Teen Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program:
- 50 minutes during health or advisory classes (Each grade hears separately)
· PowerPoint program presented by licensed counselors.
· Question and answer period
· Questionnaire and survey to each participant
· School counselors and teachers follow up
· Colorful bracelets to each student declaring “My Life Matters” 208-788-3596
· Take home packet with resources
· Suicide warning signs.
· What to do if you are concerned about a friend
· Who can you call if you’re not sure
· Should you talk about it
· What to do to prevent an emergency
· What to do and not do in an emergency
Questionnaire and survey: 95% of all students successful at listing:
· At least 3 signs of depression
· At least 3 signs of suicide ideation
· At least 3 resources they could turn to for help
· intervention strategies to help a friend or family member
Surveys show 95% found the presentation important and helpful and 97% shared positive remarks.