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Cincinnati Children’s provides tips − Steps to LAST™ − to help those who are feeling troubled, or for talking to a depressed or suicidal teen. Developed by Cathy Strunk, MSN, RN, suicide prevention expert and liaison, these Steps to LAST tips are taught as part of our Surviving the Teens / Suicide Prevention Program.
It’s not fair to you or to others to keep your troubles a secret. It’s also nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone has struggles. If you’re unable to let the person know face to face or verbally, however, then tell her in writing. Also, if it would be easier to talk like you are your friend or someone else, then talk about yourself in the third person. You can then let the person know later that it was you whom you were describing.
It’s important to tell someone when:
It is not a sign of weakness to ask for or accept help from others; it is actually a strength and can be very difficult to do. However, it is very important to tell others when you need help and what help you need from them. For example, you may just need them to listen to you without judging, interrupting, or “fixing” it for you. You may also need them to stand by you or go with you to tell an adult who can help. You may also need your friend to tell for you.
It may help to let others, such as parents, know what isn’t helpful, For instance, it may not help if they yell or get upset when you tell them things. You can let them know, then, that it would help you if they remain calm when you share things with them.
It’s important to tell someone when you feel depressed, hopeless, helpless, worthless, or upset. It’s also important to share when you feel all alone, angry, anxious, afraid, ashamed or guilty. Identifying your feelings can be empowering. Sharing feelings will also help the person better listen to you and to gauge the seriousness of the problem.
A parent or other family member, teacher, coach, school nurse, counselor, pastor / rabbi, doctor or crisis line volunteer (e.g., 1-800-273-TALK).
We provide tips for talking to a depressed or suicidal teenager.
Read a true story from a local teenager who used lessons learned from Steps to LAST™ to help save her friend's life.
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