Can bullying lead to suicide? Yes. And many youth have chosen suicide because of the bullying. They could not take it anymore. What does that say about our society? What does that say about all the programs and discussions taking place in homes and in schools about the topic? It appears like they are not enough and not reaching the students or youth who need it most.
Is bullying being dealt with properly and effectively? I am not sure. I have seen some great programs in place online and within schools here in Canada. In my research, I have come across awesome websites, hotlines, programs in schools in the USA….but if youth are still thinking, believing, and attempting suicide because of bullying that is occurring to them-what is one to think?
I just came across an article on social media about teens and North-East Ohio and suicide. It really made me pause and think…why Ohio? Why do they have a higher suicide rate? Sure it is cold there, maybe not a lot to do in North-East Ohio and teens spend more time on social media and interacting through their gadgets than in person. But Northern Canada is colder, has even less to do, and the rates of suicide are not as high. Other issues though. What is it about Ohio? In Canada, there is a site that discusses suicide by province. Statistics Canada discusses suicide as well, but ages 40-59 had the highest rates.
Another article I came across on social media discussed what to do AFTER a youth attempts suicide and is not successful. It discusses the rates of attempts doubling in the last decade. That is a very worrying statistic. Smartphones, iPads, and tablets are the last 10 years worth of electronic creations and youth are definitely glued to their devices. Texting, messaging, apps like Snapshot, Instagram, selfie photos are the way to communicate vs. actually talking in person or talking on the phone like my generation did.
It discusses the term WRAP. A Wellness Recovery Action Plan needs to be in place, a go-to resource that a child can use when they feel stressed, need additional support, or experience a crisis.
“As a parent of a child who has experienced suicidal thoughts or actions, one of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone. Help is available for both your child and you—these resources may provide additional assistance.”
- A Voice at the Table
- NAMI Family-to-Family educational program
- NAMI Family Support Group
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- The Trevor Project (for LGBTQ+ teens and young adults)
Suicide Resources for USA & Canada:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: www.afsp.org
Center for Suicide Awareness (HOPELINE): text HOPELINE to 741741 on mobile devices for immediate help
Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: or 1-800-273-8255
Patient Safety Plan Template: www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/Brown_StanleySafetyPlanTemplate.pdf
The Social Work Podcast (offers a number of podcasts on suicide from experts such as Jonathan Singer, PhD, LCSW, and Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW): socialworkpodcast.com
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration among its resources are screening tools available at www.integration.samhsa.gov/clinical-practice/screening-tools#suicide
Crisis Text Line or Text HOME to 686868 in Canada