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Suicide Prevention

TEXT: 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - In a crisis, please call 9-8-8. This line is available 24-7 for all mental health emergencies, including suicide, crisis and substance abuse. Individuals that contact this number are routed to the nearest mental health professionals and/law enforcement for immediate assistance.



Depression is more than sadness, and suicide risk is more than depression. Sadness is usually in response to something specific (i.e. a breakup, a poor test grade, a fight with a friend). The cause can usually be pinpointed or described. Depression is sadness that lasts for a long time (at least two weeks), and does not necessarily have a "cause." People will typically not be able to answer the question of "why they are sad."

Signs and symptoms:"Depressed mood" can look like sadness, or in children and teens look more like an irritable mood. Depression often brings with it a loss of concentration or interest in things that used to be fun or pleasurable – parents may see this as apathy. Changes in sleeping (too much or too little) and changes in eating (too much or too little) are also signs that sadness has moved to depression. Sometimes depression just looks like it has slowed the person down. They may report fatigue and look like they are physically moving slower – perhaps with a report of restless feelings. The symptoms combine to cause significant difficulty coping with life and participating in social, school or work activities.


  • Talking about or making plans for suicide
  • Expressing hopelessness about the future
  • Displaying severe/overwhelming emotional pain or distress
  • Showing worrisome behavioral cues or marked changes in behavior, particularly in the presence of the warning signs above.
    • Specifically, this includes significant:
      • Withdrawal from or changing in social connections/situations
      • Changes in sleep (increased or decreased)
      • Anger or hostility that seems out of character or out of context
      • Recent increased agitation or irritability

How to Respond If you notice any of these warning signs in anyone, you can help:

  1. Ask if they are ok or if they are having thoughts of suicide
  2. Express your concern about what you are observing in their behavior
  3. Listen attentively and non-judgmentally
  4. Reflect what they share and let them know they have been heard
  5. Tell them they are not alone 6. Let them know there are treatments available that can help
  6. If you are or they are concerned, guide them to additional professional help.


The Jason Foundation

The Jason Foundation, Inc. (JFI) is dedicated to the prevention of the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide through educational and awareness programs that equip young people, educators/youth workers, and parents with the tools and resources to help identify and assist at-risk youth. The president of The Jason Foundation is Clark Flatt, Jason Flatt’s father. On July 16th, 1997 Jason became a statistic of the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide. Clark shares his son’s tragic story to help stop teenage suicide and spread awareness about the issue.

  • The Jason Foundation Parent Resource Program: Parents can help make a difference and help us fight the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide. Parents can educate themselves about the magnitude of the problem, the signs of concern and the tools of prevention. Click the link above for a list of things parents can do provided by the Jason Foundation .
  • Jason Foundation Parent/Community Seminar: This seminar is a self-contained presentation, presented by Clark Flatt, President of The Jason Foundation and Jason’s Dad. This seminar contains statistical information, warning signs of suicidal ideation, elevated risk factors, what can be done, suggested resources, etc. The presentation runs approximately one hour and 40 minutes and was filmed in 2010. Some of the sponsors and affiliates may have changed, but the message remains the same.


Please note: These resources are intended to provide families with educational materials that will help them better recognize “signs of concern” that an at-risk youth may exhibit. Left unaddressed or untreated, these issues that a young person is struggling with could result in suicidal ideation.  Never try to solve this type of problem without obtaining professional help.  Professionals should always be sought whenever there is a possibility of suicidal ideation.