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-   -   Who can help me? (http://www.teenhelp.org/forums/f11-depression-suicide/t3496-who-can-help-me/)

eunoia January 29th 2009 08:42 PM

Who can help me?
Who can help me?

If youíre having suicidal thoughts, or are going through any difficult time in life, there are many people you can go to for help. A lot of people will suggest a parent or a counselor to you. While thatís always an option, there ARE other options available. It is important to remember is that you should not and do not have to struggle alone. If the most obvious option isn't an option for you, please consider seeking out someone else.

People in your home or family:
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s): While it may be difficult to tell your parents, and it may be difficult for them to hear, telling a parent or guardian about what is going on is always an option.
  • Other family members: If you can't bring yourself to tell your parent(s), you may want to consider telling a trusted family member that you are struggling. This person could then help you to get the help you need. They may be a sibling, aunt or uncle, grandparent, or even a more distant family member.
  • Family friends: Sometimes family friends are just as close as family--they're relatives, just not by blood. If you are most comfortable telling a family friend about your troubles, they are a very good option.
It is important to remember that many of the following people are bound by an ethical, sometimes legal, obligation called "duty to report." This does not mean you are in trouble! Duty to report is in place to ensure your safety and is most often restricted to situations in which a person has a suicide plan (method, time, place, etc) or intends to otherwise hurt themselves or another person. If you are worried about a person's duty to report, you can begin a conversation with any of the following individuals by stating "I know someone who..." It will be important to tell them, soon, that it is you struggling with these thoughts, but withholding your name may be an easier way to begin. These people can, and will, help you.

People in your school:
  • Teachers: Believe it or not, a favorite teacher is a wonderful person to confide in. If they didn't care about young people they wouldn't be teachers!
  • Principals: A principal/dean/headmaster, or whatever your school calls it, is a person you can go to about anything.
  • Guidance counselors: This might seem like a pretty obvious option--your school's counselor. Many counselors in schools are trained in helping with crisis situations, such as suicide.
  • School clinic workers/nurses: People who work in your school's clinic, or your school nurse, are well equipped to help you to get appropriate care and help for suicidal thoughts or other crisis situations.
  • Coaches/Extracurricular sponsors: Your coach or the sponsor of a student club, or any other extracurricular activity, may be a mentor to you. If you are comfortable talking to them, you can go to them when you are having a hard time.
Doctors and other professionals:
  • Counselors/Psychologists/etc: Mental health workers, including Licensed Clinical Social Workers, are all pretty obvious options when you're having a rough patch. If there is a mental health professional you feel comfortable speaking with then you can go to them.
  • Medical doctors: For some people, medical doctors and nurses are not the most obvious choices but these health professionals are able to help you in your time of need.
  • Emergency workers: Emergency workers include Emergency Room staff, EMTs, Paramedics, and more. Emergency medical workers are available to help you when you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or other life crisis.
  • Police officers: Police officers aren't only trained to handle "bad guys," they also are able to help people in crisis situations, including suicide. If there is a police officer you know, you can tell them, but dialing an emergency line (911, in the United States) is an option, as well.
Other people:
  • Religious leaders: Religious leaders (pastors, rabbis, youth leaders, and more) are all available to you, when you are in need. This, of course, includes when you are feeling suicidal.
Whether you go to your parents or a stranger, it is important to reach out for help in this difficult time in your life. Don't go it alone--tell someone. Also remember that you don't have to tell them face to face; most people are reachable by email.

For Hotline numbers, see the Hotlines thread.

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