PN - September 23, 2021 » From the Counseling Office

From the Counseling Office

Suicide Prevention Week at STA
Thanks to our wonderful bakers and buyers who provided our COPEcakes last Friday. Students and staff had a hard time choosing which one to select, but each and every one of them was enjoyed. Earlier in the day, students were asked to make a resource card to keep in their planner using the acronym COPE. They listed resources based upon community; outlook/optimism; personal time; energy/environment/exercise. 
 
Just as students prepare for exams, games, and performances, they need to prepare for those moments of stress. Having coping strategies on hand is important like knowing who they can call upon or what relaxation techniques work best for them. If students need help with these, they are encouraged to contact Mr. Hallauer or Mrs. Oliva in the Counseling Office.The COPEing exercise was part of our Suicide Prevention Week activities. 
 
While it’s never an easy topic to address, it is important that all parents address it with their teens just like they address drugs, alcohol, pre-marital sex and other subjects.
 
Did you know?
  • 30% of Kansas teens said they have seriously considered suicide. 
  • Suicide remains the the second leading cause of death for those aged 15-24. 
  • We can prevent it, and the first step is talking about it. 
 
One reason students have told Mr. Hallauer and I for not wanting to tell their parents they are having suicidal ideation is that they fear their parents will over-react and not be able to discuss it calmly. They fear being a burden on their parents who might also be struggling with their own emotional or mental issues as well. It’s important to let them know they can always come to you with the little and big things. How you handle the little things that come along also tells them how you will handle the big things that come along.
 
Helpful Websites
That can be a tough and scary conversation. Here’s a website that offers tips on having that talk. https://afsp.org/teens-and-suicide-what-parents-should-know
 
Another site provides good advice for parents including taking your teen’s depression or anxiety seriously and not letting it snowball; taking all threats of suicide seriously; and learning to listen even when your teen isn’t talking. See more here https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/Ten-Things-Parents-Can-Do-to-Prevent-Suicide.aspx
 
 
Quick Reminders
Gun locks are available for free at JoCo Mental Health and many local police stations.
Lock boxes for medication are recommended for all homes. We all have those mega bottles of pain relievers in our homes. We might think they are harmless, but in large doses they can have grave consequences. I have known teens to intentionally overdose on Tylenol or pain meds from their surgeries. 
 
Thanks for your help keeping kids safe.