Suicide prevention programs coming to Utah schools

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Hope4Utah has teamed up with Intermountain Healthcare to create suicide prevention programs in schools throughout Utah. Here to discuss more on the topic is Executive Director of Hope4Utah, Greg Hudnell.

He began with what most of us are all too familiar with, bullying. Bullying is typically defined as the ongoing physical or emotional victimization of a person by another person or group of people. In addition, cyberbullying is an emerging problem in which people use new communication technologies, such as social media and texting, to harass and cause emotional harm to their victims. His point, bullying increases the risk of suicide.

  • Both victims and perpetrators of bullying are at a higher risk for suicide than their peers
  • Children who are both victims and perpetrators of bullying are at the highest risk
  • Victims of cyberbullying are also at risk for depression.
    • One study found that victims of cyberbullying had higher levels of depression than victims of face-to-face bullying

Steps Greg uses to help parents:

  1. Teach children to be assertive.
  2. Show kids safe ways to help others.
  3. Hold kids accountable.
  4. Get to know their friends.
  5. Be a good example.
  6. Build empathy in your kids.
  7. Help them develop social skills.

What parents should watch out for and be aware of:

FACTS

  • Feelings
    • Expressing hopelessness about the future
  • Actions
    • Displaying severe/overwhelming pain or distress
  • Changes
    • Showing worrisome behavior cues or marked changes in behavior, including withdrawal from friends or changes in social activities; anger or hostility; or changes in sleep
  • Threats
    • Talking about, writing about, or making plans for suicide
  • Situations
    • Experiencing stressful situations including those that involve loss, change, create personal humiliation, or involve getting into trouble at home, in school or with the law. These kinds of situations can serve as triggers for suicide

For more information visit ldshospital.org/healthyliving

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