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C.U.S.P. Newsletter, informative news and notes for Single Parents.
C.U.S.P. (Commited to Uplifting Single Parents)

C.U.S.P. Newsletter

Our Mission: It is our mission to empower and assist single parents with the difficult challenges of parenthood through a range of financial and social services which will allow them to provide safe and loving homes for their children. 

About Us: C.U.S.P. (Committed to Uplifting Single Parents) a  501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing connections to resources, social services and wealth building programs for single-parent families in the Los Angeles area and its surrounding communities.  

                    

 
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SINGLE  PARENTING

 

Suicidal thoughts and Suicide attempts in teenagers


   

Suicidal thoughts are thoughts about killing yourself.

Suicidal thoughts can be a sign of temporary stress and the feeling that things are just too hard and you’ve run out of options. They might last only a few seconds.

But suicidal thoughts can also be a sign of suicidal intent, like making suicide plans or a suicide attempt.

Suicidal thoughts can come suddenly, or they might follow a stressful time. Suicidal thoughts can take over a person’s thinking.

These thoughts aren’t uncommon. Around half of the young people have had suicidal thoughts at some time.

Teenagers at risk of suicide attempts

Young people might be at risk of suicide attempts if they:

  • have previously attempted suicide or know someone who has suicided
  • have or have had mental illness or eating disorders or have been recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital
  • have a family history of suicide, mental illness and/or substance misuse
  • misuse of alcohol and other drugs or have a history of drug abuse
  • engage in self-harming behavior
  • have lost a parent during childhood, are going through family conflict, lack family support, are socially isolated, have experienced abuse or bullying, or are feeling rejected after a relationship breakdown
  • are exploring their sexuality or gender – for example, if they are gay, bisexual or transgender
  • have a physical illness, chronic pain, disability or terminal illness.

Signs that your child might be at risk of a suicide attempt

Here are some warning signs that your child is feeling suicidal or thinking about a suicide attempt. Some of these signs are red flags and others are changes in your child’s behavior and emotions.

Suicide red flags
Your child is:

  • talking about suicide – for example, saying things like ‘I’m going to kill myself’, ‘I wish I was dead’, ‘I wish I hadn’t been born’, ‘I feel like giving up’, ‘People would be better off if I wasn’t here’ or ‘I just want to go to sleep’
  • talking about feeling hopeless or despairing, either in person or online – for example, in blogs or social media status updates
  • talking a lot about death or dying, or drawing or writing poetry, songs or stories about death or dying
  • saying goodbye to people as if expecting not to see them again, or giving away stuff for no reason
  • writing suicide notes, or collecting things that could be used to suicide – for example, drugs or lethal weapons.

Behavior changes
Your child might:

  • not be interested in social activities, and might spend less time with friends and more time alone
  • show a rapid drop in school performance
  • have a lot of trouble sleeping or wake up later than usual
  • run away
  • get into trouble with the police
  • use alcohol and other drugs more
  • show signs of losing touch with reality (psychosis) – for example, hearing voices or hallucinating.

Emotional changes
Your child might:

  • seem very anxious, angry, confused or agitated
  • have mood swings, rages or periods of aggression that are out of character, or be suddenly cheerful after a period of depression
  • seem not to care about other people, or have little or no reaction to happy or unpleasant events.

Some teenagers don’t show any signs and might attempt suicide without any warning. Even highly experienced mental health professionals can’t always know that a person is having suicidal thoughts. But it’s very rare for a person who is asked sensitively about symptoms to completely deny being suicidal.

Asking your child about suicidal thoughts

It’s hard to do, but if you’re worried that your child is thinking about suicide, it’s best to ask him directly.

By asking direct questions about your child’s suicidal thoughts and feelings, you’re giving your child the chance to talk about them. You’re also helping your child feel less alone at a time when she might feel isolated. It might be hard for you to hear about your child’s feelings, but it’s important to listen and let your child do most of the talking. Let your child know that you understand how hard it is for her to talk about her feelings.

Here are some questions you could ask:

  • ‘Have you thought about suicide or dying?’
  • ‘Are you thinking about suicide?’
  • ‘Have you thought about how you would do it?’
  • ‘Do you know when you would do it?’

If your child says ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, you should seek immediate help by calling The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800 273-8255. You can also take your child to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Be aware that your child might find it hard to talk about suicide. Or he might not be able to talk about his feelings or symptoms because of mental illness. If your child has depression or psychosis, he might feel that he isn’t worth helping. 

Suicidal thoughts: what to do and not to do

What To Do
If your child is having suicidal thoughts, take the following steps:

  • Stay with your child or get someone else to stay with her. Don’t leave her alone.
  • Remove anything that might cause harm, like sharp objects, drugs, rope, razors, guns or medications. This also includes removing access to a car.
  • Tell your child that you care and want to help. Let him know that if you think his life is in danger, you will get help from a professional. Don’t promise to keep your child’s suicidal thoughts and feelings secret.
  • Ask your child to promise to tell you or a trusted adult, friend, psychologist, youth advisor, teacher,  or helpline like Suicide Prevention Lifeline she has suicidal thoughts again.

What Not To Do
It’s not helpful to say things that are patronizing, opinionated, blaming or judgmental. This can shut down communication and stop your child from wanting to get help.

Here are some unhelpful statements to avoid:

  • ‘But you have everything to live for.’
  • ‘Things could be worse.’
  • ‘There are people worse off than you.’
  • ‘What’s making you feel bad?’
  • ‘What can I do to make you feel better?’

Getting help for a child with suicidal thoughts

You need to get professional help for your child. The support you give your child isn’t a substitute for help from qualified mental health professionals.

You can start by arranging a mental health assessment for your child with a GP, counselor or mental health professional. If your child has a mental health issue, treatment will give your child the best chance of recovery.

You can support your child through this by making phone calls, looking into treatment options, offering to arrange your child’s mental health appointments and going to appointments with him.

People who are suicidal can feel as if there’s no hope and that they’ve run out of options. It will help to reassure your child that things will change and get better with the right treatment.

Suicidal thoughts: protective factors

Just as there are risk factors for suicide, there are also factors that can help protect young people against suicide. These include:

  • feeling that they have strong social supports and relationships with friends and peers
  • feeling connected to family
  • having good coping and problem-solving skills
  • having positive values and beliefs
  • being able to seek and get help.

Looking after yourself

Discovering that your child has suicidal thoughts or has made a suicide attempt is very distressing. You’ll probably want to do everything you can to support your child. It’s also important to look after yourself so that you’re in the best shape to look after your child.

Here are a few ways that you can look after your own health and wellbeing:

  • Seek professional help for yourself if you’re distressed, or even if you just want to talk about the effect of your child’s experience on you. Your GP, a counselor or Lifeline are good places to start.
  • It will be hard to leave your child on her own. Ask for help from family, friends or members of your support network. You can ask them to give you a call or to look after your other children.
  • If possible, try to do something enjoyable each week, either by yourself or with friends and family.

 

 


In accordance with our mission to provide you with the best in support services, we are very excited to tell you that C.U.S.P. has partnered with Apprisen.


, a professional provider of financial counseling who has serviced families all across the United States for nearly 60 years. Apprisen's mission is to help people improve their financial well-being through counseling, community outreach, and financial education.
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A free e-book is written just for you. 

Download a free copy now and you will find answers to many of your most urgent personal finance questions.


 


C.U.S.P. continues to strive to connect you with resources that allow you to live YOUR BEST LIFE! We are happy to have these partnerships and look forward to your success. 



 

Across South Los Angeles and neighboring cities, people just like you are proving you can start small and think big. South LA Savers are setting financial goals, tracking their spending and taking control of their financial future. Our tips and tools can help you set goals, develop strategies to reach those goals, and start saving. Now is the time! Take financial action today! “Start small, think big” and make your dreams a reality! 

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Inner City Youth Empowerment (ICYE): A youth empowerment initiative of C.U.S.P. Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, CA. ICYE utilizes a variety of strategies to engage youth and young adults ages 12-25. ICYE will provide classes, seminars, conference, and collaborate with other community organizations on programs and events. We will also share tools, tips, and resources.

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