Submitted by Sal Becerra, Elite School Counselor
Suicide Prevention
It’s important that we all care for each other during this challenging and uncertain time. Suicide is the leading cause of death among school-age youth. However, suicide is preventable and together we can help keep each other safe and away from self-harm. 

Individuals who are contemplating suicide frequently give warning signs of their distress. Parents, teachers, and friends are in a key position to pick up on these signs and get help. Most important is to never takes these warning signs lightly or promise to keep them a secret. When all adults and students in a school community are committed to making suicide prevention a priority and are empowered to take the correct actions, we can help someone in need before they engage in behavior with irreversible consequences.

Suicide Warning SignsDuring this pandemic time, social distancing can create further isolation and enhancing the feeling of being lonely or disconnected from support systems. It is during this time that we as a community can keep supporting each other and help someone be uplifted. 

Every one of us has a role to play in supporting love ones during the COVID outbreak. Here are some things we can do:

  1. Regularly check on your friends, neighbors and family members by calling them or by contacting them through facetime. 
  2. Ask how they are doing during this period of time, how their daily routines might have changed, and what kinds of things they are doing to cope with the stress.
  3. Encourage them to keep doing the activities that are allowable during COVID for their local area. Some ideas can include daily exercise or a walk, stretching, listening to or playing music, reading, enjoying favorite or humorous shows, puzzles, games, social activities, and meditation.
  4. If they are experiencing symptoms of physical or mental health decline, help them seek adequate medical care or call a lifeline. 
  5. Express gratitude and appreciation for any support you get from your relationship with them. Let them know what you admire about them and the positive impact they have on you. 

Our routines and daily interaction with those we love may have changed temporarily but we can still keep in close contact using creative ways. Reach out to those you love and check-in to see how they are doing. Seeing your face and smile through FaceTime may just make their day more positive. 

If you or you have knowledge of someone needing help please call one of these numbers below:

National  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Imperial County  Imperial Valley Crisis Hotline (760) 482 – 4000
Orange County  TeenLine Hotline Help Center (714) 639 – 8336
Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Center (877) 727 – 4747
Riverside County California Youth Crisis Line (800) 843 – 5200
San Bernardino County Family Service Agency (800) 832 – 9119
San Diego County United Behavior Health Access and Crisis Line (800) 479 – 3339
San Fernando County CSUN Helpline (818) 349 – HELP (4357)
Ventura County Crisis Team-Suicide/Crisis Line (805) 652 – 6727