About

Kynd U

Suicide Prevention

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among all U.S. teenagers. A safety plan can help guide you through difficult moments and keep you safe. Learn how to make your own. Research shows that teenagers who engage in community service are more responsible, with higher self-esteem and mental resilience. Volunteering has incredible mental wellness and social benefits! Sources: NSPH, Shobha Bhaskar, MD

What's Different

While all volunteering has significant mental health benefits, Kynd U is unique because it is created by and for teenagers. What this means is that you will be able to engage in wellness experiences with your peers instead of with younger kids, parents or other adults (like you would with Kyndfulness for Kids). Each opportunity will be followed by a community hour where mental health resources and conversation topics will be provided to you.

Positive Impact

We hope that Kynd U wellness experiences give participants an opportunity to truly be themselves while creating a community and network of like-minded, local teenagers, therefore reducing the stigma around teen suicide. Friends sometimes let friends know if they are thinking about suicide or dying. Other times, changes in behavior may show that someone is struggling (NSPH). When you have a community of peers that you know you can talk openly with about your own struggle or the struggle of a friend, you will not feel so isolated or alone. Ultimately, Project Helping believes that Kynd U will dramatically reduce the number of teen suicides.

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING

No matter how much pain you’re experiencing right now, you are not alone.

Sometimes your struggle can be underestimated because of your age. But we hear you, and help is available . . . Don’t be afraid to let your friends, family, or teachers know what you need when they ask; they want to help.

No matter your situation, there are people who need you, places where you can make a difference, and experiences that can remind you that life is worth living. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/are-you-feeling-suicidal.htm/

Resources

Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or needs medical attention, call 911.

For FREE help from a trained crisis counselor anywhere in the US:

CALL National Suicide 24 Hour Hotline at 1.800.273.8255

TEXT the word “HOME” to 741741

CHAT Online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

 

In Colorado:

CALL Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.8255

TEXT the word “TALK” to 38255

CHAT Online at https://coloradocrisisservices.org/chat/ from 4pm to 12am daily

 

LGBTQ+ Youth:

The Trevor Project: The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning young people under 25.

CALL 1-866-488-7386

TEXT “START” to 678678.

First Steps

Where do I go from here?

  • Step #1: Promise not to do anything right now

Even though you’re in a lot of pain right now, give yourself some distance between thoughts and action. Make a promise to yourself: “I will wait 24 hours and won’t do anything drastic during that time.” Thoughts and actions are two different things—your suicidal thoughts DO NOT have to become a reality. Wait and put some distance between your suicidal thoughts and suicidal action.

  • Step #2: Avoid drugs and alcohol

Suicidal thoughts can become even stronger if you have taken drugs or alcohol. It is important to not use nonprescription drugs or alcohol when you feel hopeless or are thinking about suicide.

  • Step #3: Make your home safe

Remove things you could use to hurt yourself, such as pills, knives, razors, or firearms. If you are unable to do so, go to a place where you can feel safe. If you are thinking of taking an overdose, give your medicines to someone who can return them to you one day at a time as you need them.

  • Step #4: Don’t keep these suicidal feelings to yourself

Many of us have found that the first step to coping with suicidal thoughts and feelings is to share them with someone we trust. It may be a family member, friend, therapist, member of the clergy, teacher, family doctor, coach, or an experienced counselor at the end of a helpline. Find someone you trust and let them know how bad things are. Just talking about how you got to this point in your life can release a lot of the pressure that’s building up and help you find a way to cope.

  • Step #5: Have hope – people DO get through this

Even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now manage to survive these feelings. Take hope in this. There is a very good chance that you are going to live through these feelings, no matter how much self-loathing, hopelessness, or isolation you are currently experiencing. Just give yourself the time needed and don’t try to go it alone.

 

Therapy

General information on different types of therapy can be found here.

Use the Therapist Finder from Psychology Today to search for a therapist by location, insurance, issue, age, and more.

Second Wind Fund matches children and youth at risk for suicide with licensed therapists in their communities. If a financial or social barrier to treatment is present, they pay for up to 12 sessions of therapy from one of their providers.

Online therapy is another option. Companies like Talkspace (from $49 per week) and BetterHelp (from $35 per week) connect users with therapists via text, audio, and video chat.

Or, help yourself with an online cognitive behavioral therapy course like MoodGYM ($39/year), proven in scientific trial to help prevent and manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

 

From the National Association of School Psychologists: Suicide rarely happens without warning. As a peer, you may be in the best position to recognize when a friend needs help. You could see signs in person, hear about them secondhand, or see them online in social media. Never ignore these signs. Suicide is preventable. By listening, talking, and acting, you could save a life.

For a list of warning signs and actions to take, visit this page from Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.

You Matter: a safe space for youth to discuss and share stories about mental health and wellness and blog posts written by individuals between 13-24 that are passionate about suicide prevention and mental health.

To learn more, see Save a Friend: Tips for Teens to Prevent Suicide from The National Association of School Psychologists, or this guide on taking action from Screening for Mental Health, Inc.

Many of the following resources were gathered by Mental Health First Aid Colorado.

Are you experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition? Visit the free and confidential screening tools page from Mental Health America to find out.

The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) promotes research, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers involved in suicide prevention.

The Jason Foundation Website provides information, tools and resources to help identify at-risk youth and know how to assist them in getting help before a tragedy occurs.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation website provides information and downloadable fact sheets on depressive disorders.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) provides information about suicide, support for survivors, prevention, research and more.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center has fact sheets on suicide by state and by population characteristics, as well as on many other subjects.

The Mayo Clinic maintains a webpage with preventative measures and suicide warning signs for parents of teenagers.

This American Academy of Family Physicians article discusses the causes of teen suicide and includes a list of questions for concerned parents to ask their child’s doctors.

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