Mental Health/Suicide Prevention & Awareness
Mental Health First Aid
Feeling anxiety or depression is a common reaction in times of uncertainty or when there’s a perception of danger, and the COVID-19 situation certainly qualifies as such a time. This is something new and worrying that we are all facing together.
That’s why we encourage you to use tips from Mental Health First Aid to support those around you who might be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed. With these tips, you can #BeTheDifference for your loved ones while physical distancing and help them through this challenging time.
Use these tips from the MHFA curriculum to help someone with anxiety or depression during COVID-19:
- Assess for risk of suicide or harm. Identify if they’re experiencing a crisis such as a panic attack or suicidal thoughts, and address that first. It’s OK to do the assessment over the phone, text or social media. If the person’s life is in immediate danger, call 911.
- Listen nonjudgmentally. If the person isn’t in a crisis, ask how they’re feeling and how long they’ve been feeling that way. Pay attention and show you care.
- Give reassurance and information. Your support can have a huge impact on the person. Reassure them that it is appropriate to experience fear, sadness or anxiety during situations like this. Remind them that help is available, and you’ll be there for them along the way.
- Encourage appropriate professional help. Offer to help them find a professional for support, such as a primary care physician, mental health professional, psychiatrist or certified peer specialist. Behavioral health care providers can provide services by phone and/or secure videoconferencing, so they will be able to maintain physical distancing.
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies. Self-help strategies and reaching out for support from family, friends, faith communities and others who have experienced depression or anxiety (peer supporters) can make a difference.
There are other self-care strategies that can help manage symptoms of anxiety or depression, as well as self-care strategies that can help you manage your own mental health during this time. We encourage you to take a few minutes every day to focus on your mental health needs, connect with loved ones, and find support using technology.
Tele-Behavioral Help at Prosper ISD
Prosper ISD has partnered with Children’s HealthSM to provide convenient access to behavioral health care. Many students struggle with stress and emotional situations. If you’ve noticed your child or teenager being impacted, they may feel more comfortable talking to a therapist or counselor virtually. With your permission, your child can video chat with a licensed behavioral health provider – right from school, right from a tablet. You can join the session from work or home, too. It’s a convenient option for expert behavioral health care.
TeleBehavioral services at Prosper ISD will be free for all our students. Visit childrens.com/telebehavioral for more information or call 844-856-6926.
Please reach out to your child’s school counselor for more information.
Suicide Awareness & Prevention
HB 1386 focuses on Early Mental Health Intervention for all students with a focus on Suicide Prevention. Prosper ISD counselors will present age appropriate guidance lessons to students on dealing with anxiety and depression.
According to Texas Suicide Safer Schools by Dr Scott Poland and Dr. Donna Poland, suicide is the second or third leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24. Suicide is preventable, and a system wide approach is needed that includes the schools and all stakeholders.
Warning Signs of Suicide include but are not limited to the following:
- Talking about suicide
- Making statements about feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- A deepening depression
- History of mental illness
- Preoccupation with death
- Taking unnecessary risks or exhibiting self-destructive behavior
- Engaging in non-suicidal self-injury
- Being victimized by bullying
- Out of character behavior, dramatic changes in behavior
- A loss of interest in the tins one cares about
- Visiting or calling people one cares about in a way that hints at saying goodbye
- Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order
- Giving prized possessions away
- Exposure to suicide
If you or someone you know is in a crisis:
Call or Text the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988
The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the US. Find out more information here.
For information on "How to Talk to Your Kids about Suicide", follow this link.