Getting back to school after a break can trigger feelings of anxiety and stress for many teens and young adults. When one is able to shake off those feelings after a day or two, it's normal, but when those feelings are profound and continue for weeks or months, it's best to seek assistance and learn coping methods to avoid a downward spiral leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair.
Approximately half of all young adults with a mental health condition are not receiving adequate treatment, and mental health support tends to be underfunded among even the best colleges and universities. Untreated, mental health issues and the consequences of bullying can lead to suicidal thoughts and feelings, and in more and more cases, to suicide itself.
The Suicide Prevention Coalition states suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth between 10 and 24 years old and results in approximately 5,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
About 30% of those who attempt suicide tell someone before, so if you know or suspect that someone might be suicidal, there's a good chance that you can help.
- When some talks to you, that is the moment for intervention
- With each suicide attempt, risk of suicide increases.
The JED Foundation is a national nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults, equips teens and young adults with the skills and support to grow into healthy, thriving adults; and encourages community awareness, understanding and action for young adult mental health.
The JED Foundation was recently awarded a grant for $300,000 by the US HBC Foundation to expand JED Campus, efforts in partnering with colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming and systems. Some JED programs include: JED Campus, Settogo.org, Ulifeline.org, Halfofus.com and Loveislouder.com.
The U.S. HBC Foundation, the charitable arm of Hudson’s Bay Company, announced their $6 million (CAD) commitment to mental health initiatives across North America by 2021. The HBC Foundation is dedicated to making mental health a priority in every community by increasing understanding and improving access to care.
The grant will establish the HBC Foundation Campus Scholarship Fund to support JED Campus – a nationwide initiative designed to help guide colleges and universities through assessing and building upon their existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts.
The Fund will enable JED to increase their reach by over half a million students, working with more colleges and universities nationwide to invest in mental health resources and substance abuse programming. In addition to supporting these schools, JED Campus also brings the importance of mental health to the forefront of national attention.
“We are incredibly grateful to receive HBC’s generosity and support,” said John MacPhee, Executive Director and CEO of The Jed Foundation. “Their gift will help us work with more campuses to help develop and implement plans to better support the well-being of their students by strengthening their policies, programs and systems around mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention.”
The HBC Foundation first announced the launch of the HBC Foundation Campus Scholarship Fund at a Get With The Times event on Thursday, November 29th, 2018. Get With The Times is The New York Times’s live event series that explores provocative issues college students face today. Hosted at Tufts University in Boston, the HBC Foundation awarded its first scholarship to the Tufts campus. The event also featured a conversation with five-time NBA All-Star and champion, Kevin Love, and Sports of The Times columnist, Juliet Macur, about Love’s personal mental health journey.
Risk factors are characteristics or conditions that increase the chance that a person may try to take their life.
- Mental health conditions
- Substance use problems
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality traits of aggression, mood changes and poor relationships
- Conduct disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Serious physical health conditions including pain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Access to lethal means including firearms and drugs
- Prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment
- Stressful life events, like rejection, divorce, financial crisis, other life transitions or loss
- Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
- Previous suicide attempts
- Family history of suicide
- Childhood abuse, neglect or trauma
Here are some suggestions.
1. Take it seriously, even if your friend brushes it off. Suicidal ideation (continual suicidal thoughts) is not typical, and it reflects a larger problem.
2. Do not leave the person alone.
3. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
4. Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.
5. Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
6. Ask, listen, tell, if the threat is immediate stay with the person.
7. Bring friend to a trusted adult. If they don’t know what to do or don’t take it seriously find another adult.
8. Be a good listener but remember that having suicidal thoughts reflects a bigger underlying problem such as depression, substance problems, abuse, or problem-solving difficulties. You can listen, but they need to speak to a professional.
Other places to reach out to for help:
Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741741 for a confidential text conversation any time of the day or night.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time.
Tevor Lifeline provides suicide prevention counselling and assistance for the LGBTQ community. Tel: 866-488-7386.
About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch.com.