While we often think of the basic essentials when we make a choice to donate (food, shelter, clothes, etc.), one of the fundamental needs we often miss is suicide prevention education. According to at 2015 report from the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13 to 18 years of age experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. Troubling statistics from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey revealed 17% of youth seriously considered suicide in the previous year and more than 13% made a plan.
Our nation’s youth are suffering with one of the most painful and debilitating illnesses. Depression can leave youth feeling worthless, guilty, and devoid of hope. Mental health is not often a popular topic of conversation due to stigma and fear, leaving students afraid to talk about these serious feelings. We need to set a standard to educate youth across the country about mental health, just as we do about physical health.
With our SOS Signs of Suicide® Prevention Programs, youth starting as early as Middle School and into High School are taught to identify signs and symptoms of depression, suicidality, and self-injury in themselves, and their peers, and to seek out help from a trusted adult. In a randomized controlled study, the SOS High School program showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40%.
December is often known as a time of giving and generosity. Tomorrow, December 1st, we celebrate #GivingTuesday, a day that unites people around the world to bring about real change in their communities. Suicide is a global health issue, with about 800,000 lives lost each year. Nationally, it is the second leading cause of death in 11-18 -year-olds.
We are asking for your help today to enable us to reach youth in need. By providing a donation we are moving a step closer to our vision of a world where mental health is viewed and treated with the same gravity as physical health.
If you would like more information, please visit https://mentalhealthscreening.org/donate.