Youth Suicide Prevention

An Invitation to Join the Conversation


April 12, 2019

Bend-La Pine Schools Families,

In Oregon, suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24, surpassed only by accidents. Youth suicide is a serious problem, but there is hope.

Nationwide, for every death by suicide, there are 280 people who seriously think about suicide — but instead choose to live. That is 280 remarkable stories of hope, help and healing.

This week, journalists from across Oregon have been doing something incredible: they have devoted time to report on stories of suicide prevention and stories of hope, help and healing.

According to Lines for Life CEO and organizer of this monumental movement, Dwight Holton, this is the first time in history that journalists have banned together to tell these stories in the context of the public health crisis, to help break the silence on suicide, erase stigma, and launch an overdue and public conversation about suicide prevention.

Here at home, we are continuing the conversation of hope, help and healing with two interactive sessions taking place next week that are aimed at helping parents and community members learn more about youth suicide prevention, how to find help during stressful times, and how to normalize the conversation around suicide.

Please make time to join us at one or both of our upcoming Hope, Help & Heal events:

Hope, Help & Heal—Promote Hope. Get Help. Support Healing.

Bend: Mountain View High School, April 23, 6:00-7:30 PM

Free dinner served from 5:00-5:50 PM

Free childcare from 5:45-7:30 PM

Redmond: Ridgeview High School, April 25, 6:00-7:30 PM

Free desserts served from 5:30-5:50 PM

Free childcare from 5:45-7:30 PM

Registration is available online and helps with food counts, but is not required.

During these events you will hear directly from our students about suicide, from families who have survived loss, and from the multitude of people working together to provide resources and help during times of stress, anxiety and crisis.

Please join us. Together, we can shine the light on hope, help and healing.

Sincerely,

Julianne Repman
Director of Safety and Communication
Bend-La Pine Schools


Hope, Help & Heal Resources

A message from our friends at Central Oregon Suicide Prevention Alliance:
“We want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that a sudden death by suicide, when it does occur, is a very complicated act. No one single thing causes it. But in many cases, a mental health condition can be part of it, and these conditions are treatable. It’s really important if you or someone you love is not feeling well in any way to reach out for help. Each of us will react to a sudden death in our own way, and we need to be respectful of each other. Feeling sad is a normal response to any loss. Some of you may not be affected and others may experience a great deal of sadness. Some of you may find you are having difficulty concentrating,
and others may find that diving into your work is a good distraction.”

Community Resources

  • www.preventsuicideco.org
  • Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Text: 273TALK to 839-863
  • Local crisis line: 541-322-7500, Ext. 9
  • Visit the County walk-in center, 2577 NE Courtney, Bend, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Resources Specific to Teens, in addition to those above

  • Oregon YouthLine (teen-to-teen crisis and help line)
  • Use First Step, found on school iPads
  • Report a concern or ask for help through our Safe Oregon tip line via text or phone, email, or online.
  • Contact school counseling center or other mental health professional
  • Visit a School Based Health Center
  • Talk to an adult or friend

Tips for Talking About a Suicide Death

  • Avoid misinformation. Suicide is complex. There are almost always multiple causes, including (but not limited to) mental illness that may not have been recognized or treated. However, it’s important to note that these illnesses are treatable
  • Avoid saying that death by suicide was preceded by a single event, such as a recent job loss, divorce or relationship breakup, traumatic event, or bad grades. Attributing a suicide to a single event leaves students with an overly simplistic and misleading understanding of suicide.
  • Use careful language and do not refer to suicide as “successful” or a “failed attempt.” Instead describe as “died by suicide,” or “killed him/herself” (instead of “committed suicide”).
  • Promote stories and resources about hope and actions everybody can take to help others who are struggling. Research shows that sharing stories of hope can help protect vulnerable people from suicide risk.
  • A guide that may be useful in speaking with students about trauma: A Guide for Youth: Understanding Trauma
  • Know the suicide warning signs

To download a copy of the poster you can click HERE.

Youth Suicide Prevention Poster