If someone's life is in immediate danger please call 911 immediately
Information on this page is used for educational purposes only and is not intended as a diagnosis. If either yourself or you suspect someone you love/know is suicidal please seek help via the resources mentioned at the bottom of this page.
"PASSING LIFE FORWARD" AND PREVENTING YOUTH SUICIDE IN HAWAII:
A brief guide for parents, guardians, and families
Suicide is real...It's happening. We can't be in denial any longer...We need to start talking about it!" -A Parent & Suicide Survivor
How do I know when a youth is at risk?
Let's take a look at some of these signs:
A sense of hopelessness for the future
Isolation or feeling alone "No one understands me"
Aggressiveness and irritability "Leave me alone"
Possessing lethal means (e.f. pills, guns)
A negative view of self "I am worthless"
Drastic changes in mood and behavior
Frequently talking about death "If I died would you miss me?"
Self-harm behaviors like cutting
Engaging in "risky" behaviors "I'll try anything. I'm not afraid to die"
Making funeral arrangments
Giving away things away (e.g. clothes, expensive gifts) "When I am gone, I want you to have this"
Feeling like a burden to others "You would be better off without me"
Making suicide threats "Sometimes I feel like I just want to die"
It's common for youth to go through the ups and downs of adolescence. What's important to keep in mind is that you are looking for drastic changes in behavior and mood over a relatively short period of time.
What do I do if I'm concerned about a youth?
Approach the youth, and let him/her know that you're concerned and want to help.
Try not to be judgmental or critical
Be patient and listen
Try not to react by being shocked, angry, or disappointed
Don't give advice
Try not to minimize how the youth may be feeling
Give the youth a chance to talk
"I'm really worried about you. Can we talk?"
"I've been noticing that you are (sad, distant, not yourself lately). I'm really concerned. Can we talk about what's been bothering you?"
"You haven't been acting like yourself lately. Let's talk about what's going on."
Don't be afraid to ask direct questions about suicide. Talking about suicide does NOT cause suicide.
In fact, by asking questions, you may save a life.
"Are you thinking about killing yourself?"
"Have you ever felt so down that you thought of ending your life?"
"Do you ever wish you were dead?"
"Do you ever wish you could go to sleep and never wake up?"
"Have you been feeling like you want to escape from it all?"
NEVER promise to keep thoughts or feelings about suicide a "secret." Keeping that secret may be extremely harmful, if not fatal. Be sure to tell the youth that you are unable to keep their secret. Even if they seem uspet with you now, they will thank you later.
What if a youth needs immediate help?
If you suspect a youth is in imminent danger, get help IMMEDIATELY. Do not wait until things "blow over" or calm down. Call 911 if there is immediate threat to someone's life. Never leave the youth alone - wait with the youth until help arrives.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)
National 24/7 crisis line
TTY: 1-800799-4TTY (4889)
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Dial or Text
711 then 988
Hawai'i State Department
of Health's Access Line Hawaii's 24/7
National 24/7 hotline for LGBTQ youth
Military One Source
24/7 hotline, provided by the Department of Defense, at no cost to service members and their families
Resources for Hawaii's teens
For more information contact regarding information on this page:
Hawai'i's Caring Communities Initiative (HCCI) for Youth Suicide Prevention at: HCCIemail@example.com/hcci/.
Information for this page was adapted from the Adolescent Suicide Prevention Project -"It's time to talk about it: A Family Guide for youth suicide prevention" and the Hawai'i Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant- "Mentally healthy, physically fit: Does my teen need help?" (Document version-10/4/2012)