| Volunteer Resources | Health & Wellness | Suicide Prevention
CASA Volunteers are often the only person a child trusts enough to talk openly about serious subjects. When a child is thinking about suicide, you as a CASA, can play a critical role in keeping the child safe.
First: You do not have to have special knowledge or skills to talk to the youth about what they are thinking – all you need to know is that if you sense that they are thinking about suicide you should not leave the youth alone.
Second: If you feel that the child is thinking about suicide, you must find a way to get the youth to a mental health professional – like a therapist or the social worker. Make sure that they are taking it seriously and that they will do what is necessary to help the youth and keep them safe.
Third: If you don’t know what else to do, call 911 and explain the situation. Police can take the youth to a place that can watch them.
Fourth: Make sure that there are follow-up mental health services provided to the youth.
You can find more information here:
The wallet card can be especially helpful as well.
Suicide Warning Signs
- Threatening to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
- Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills, or other means
- Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
- Feeling hopeless
- Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities—seemingly without thinking
- Feeling trapped—like there’s no way out
- Increasing alcohol or drug use Withdrawing from friends, family, and society
- Feeling anxious, agitated, or unable to sleep or sleeping all the time
- Experiencing dramatic mood changes
- Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life
Preventing Suicidal Behavior Among Youth in Foster Care
This Fact Sheet/Issue Brief describes the extent of suicidal behavior among youth in foster care, including thoughts of and planning for suicide, nonfatal suicide attempts, and suicide deaths. It also lists risk and protective factors.
The Role of Foster Parents in Preventing Suicide
Youth in foster care, or with a history of foster care placement, are at greater risk of suicidal behavior. A new resources for foster parents and young people from the national Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides guidance for foster parents and other mentors on recognizing and responding to warning signs, getting professional help, enhancing mental health, and more.
Understanding Suicide Prevention (in college)
Suicide affects an ever growing number of students with a sharp rise in attempts during the high school and college years. To help students who have considered or previously attempted suicide as they make their way to college, BestColleges.com, created a guide that will educate students and their communities about suicide prevention. It helps identify the warning signs and risk factors for suicide and provides resources for those who suffer from suicidal thoughts and for their surrounding community of support. Perhaps most importantly it aims to dispel the myths and stigmas that encompass suicide so that students feel safer to speak up and get the help they need and find the colleges that will best support them. For more information, you can take a look at the Suicide Prevention Guide.