Cedarcrest senior, Jacupe (Jake) Wilmot, recently held a community education event to teach others how to recognize depression and what to do if you think someone is thinking about suicide. This project is one component of Jake’s senior project.
The goal of the event was to raise awareness about the problem of youth suicide and inform the community about how to intervene when someone is at risk for suicide. By the end of the interactive presentation, participants knew what to do and where to go for help when a friend is at risk of suicide.
Jake presented data from the Youth Suicide Prevention Program to help the audience understand the breadth of the problem, including:
- Two Washington State Youth (10-24 years old) die by suicide each week.
- 1 of 5 youth seriously considers suicide.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death.
- 80% of people who die by suicide have given off clues or talked about suicide.
Then, Jake covered how to recognize depression in others. Signs may include:
- Anxiety or irritability
- Changes in eating/sleeping habits
- Physical complaints
- Poor school performance
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Moodiness, hopelessness, withdrawal
The class enjoyed the stress demonstration during which a participant is asked to hold red cups. Each cup represents a stress people face in life (grades, divorce, peer pressure, etc). The cups pile up until the person holding the cups just can’t hold any more. This demonstration reminds us that we all face a lot of different pressures and it is really hard to deal with pressures on one’s own.
However, there are things that can be done to help. Talking with someone, getting exercise, reminding yourself that you can handle difficult issues are all healthy ideas for coping with life’s stresses.
Participants learned that if you do believe someone is thinking about suicide, you can use the S.A.G. model:
Show you care (I am here for you and I care about you.)
Ask the question (Are you thinking about suicide?)
Get help (Let’s call someone or go find someone you can talk to.)
The participants in the room were grateful for Jake’s thoughtful presentation and they expressed that this is such important information for people to know and understand.
Jake will be presenting again to the Advanced Health class at Cedarcrest High School and he will co-facilitate a peer-to-peer training at the Be the Change conference on May 4.
If you would like to learn more about suicide prevention, please visit www.yspp.org