September 5, 2019
September 8th-14th is National Suicide Prevention Week
As parents/guardians, you have the best vantage point and insight on your children. This helps foster an environment in which you can notice changes in your child’s behaviors, friends, work patterns, etc. As we have said many times before, we wish students were able to come to school and focus only on learning, but that is not always a reality for our students. There are many outside factors and situations that make learning very difficult. This upcoming week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 15-24 in New Jersey. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good time to bring up some key points and ask you to be extra vigilant in noticing changes in your child’s behaviors or actions.
Here are some of the signs you can look for, but please note that not all people who are suicidal will show signs before making an attempt. Some common indicators of these suicidal thoughts include:
- Extreme personality changes
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Significant loss or gain in appetite
- Difficulty falling asleep or wanting to sleep all day
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
- Sadness, irritability, or indifference
- Having trouble concentrating
- Extreme anxiety or panic
- Drug or alcohol use or abuse
- Aggressive, destructive, or defiant behavior
- Poor school performance
- Hallucinations or unusual beliefs
The American Association of Suicidology has created the acronym “IS PATH WARM?” as a way to remember the warning signs of suicide.
The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide posted an article on “Back to School: Helping Your Child With School Transitions”. The article provides tips that parents can share to help kids cope or manage the changes and adjustments they may experience during these transitions. Please take a moment to read through some of the main points to article has to offer.
A former graduate of Voorhees High School recorded an important message we would like you to take a moment to hear. Kim Scheper, Class of 2006, shares with you her personal story about depression and how she considered suicide. This public service announcement is part of the ongoing effort to educate students and parents about preventing suicide, which is the third leading cause of death among teens. Please help us to reduce the risk of teen suicide in our community and among our students. The following link will take you to Kim’s message (if the link does not work in email, please copy and paste the link into your internet browser):
Some additional sources of information:
Please reach out to your child’s guidance counselor or the student assistance coordinator if you would like to speak about your child. Every child matters.
Student Assistance Counselor
North Hunterdon High School
1445 Rt. 31
Annandale, NJ 08801