Call 988 For Suicide Prevention
Suicide has become the 2nd leading cause of death among kids and teens. Anyone thinking about suicide should call the new suicide prevention hotline number 988. This shorter number (used to be 11 digits) makes it much easier for people to seek help when in a crisis. This change is expected to save more lives. People who are in a crisis or with someone in a crisis can call 988 and receive professional help. The individuals on the other end of the phone call are trained to help you or a family member (or friend) deal with the emotions and intensity of that moment. They will help to stop the immediacy of the crisis so as to prevent someone from giving in to the hopelessness they feel.
Research shows that the hotline does help prevent people from committing suicide. And while the shorter 3 digit number is a big step in the right direction, there is still a serious need for increased funding to support these programs.
The unfortunate reality is that the rise in the suicide rate is accompanied by the rise in prescription drug use for kids and teens. If you want to learn more about the risks and benefits of antidepressant use for kids, here is a blog post I wrote that goes into detail on the subject “The Risks And Benefits Of Antidepressant Medications For Kids.”
Here is a podcast episode that might also be helpful where I interview Dr. James Greenblatt about “Integrative Treatment For Mood Disorders In Kids and Teens.”
Remember, if you or someone you know ever talks about harming themselves you can reach out to the new suicide prevention hotline number 988 and someone will be there to help.