is a thing of the past.
Teen Suicide Prevention Society ("TSPS")
What we've found is that most suicide prevention programs only kick-in once a teen's known to be "at risk."
This means that the teen is engaging in high-risk activities, like drug and alcohol use; they have a mental health diagnosis; they've shared that they're struggling with suicidal thoughts; or they've made an attempt to take their own lives.
The "prevention" portion of the programs often focuses on watching for signs and asking about "plans."
At Teaspoons, we believe that watching for signs is looking for trouble.
Constant watchfulness is both exhausting and useless. Suicidal thoughts are invisible.
A parent's brain is hardwired to believe that their child's OK. Your Reticular Activating System, ("RAS") the filter in your brain, screens out what you don't believe is there.
Even parents whose children have a known mental illness are often blind-sided by a suicide attempt. Not all mental health practitioners clearly explain the risk of suicidal ideation, and your RAS makes it hard to remember if they do.
Your child may see the constant watchfulness as a sign that you don't trust them. This could lead to them not trusting themselves, or you, eroding your relationship with them.
In this day and age, often the first sign that a teen's in trouble is an attempt, and they don't all survive.
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As clear as that question is, once we learned that suicide prevention hotlines judge their effectiveness by how many calls they receive, we decided that there had to be another way to stop the rising tide of teen suicide.
We realized that the challenge wasn't the act of taking their life that was the problem. The problem was the thinking that led to feelings of hopelessness.
Once we realized that, we stopped asking: "How do we stop suicide?" and started asking: "How do we stop suicidal thinking from getting stuck inside someone's head?"
That one small shift led us down a very different path . . .
The first thing we found is that, according to the Center for Disease Control, not talking about suicide is, in and of itself, a risk factor for suicide.
That led to our #BreakTheSilence program in high schools.
The second thing we found is that suicidal thoughts are normal. According to Sigmund Freud, suicidal thinking is part of our brain's natural worst-case scenario, problem-solving mechanism.
That led to our #YouCantDoItWrong program for practical problem solving.
The third thing we found is that the fear of saying the wrong thing prevents many parents from saying anything.
That led to our writing guides on how to #HaveTheTalk about suicide.
The fourth, and most important, thing we found is that suicide prevention is a team sport.
That led to our how to #SuicideProofYourFriends program that we call: "'The Talks' That Save Lives."
We call this approach: "Say something before you see something" a.k.a.: "Pure Prevention."
Nobody was prepared for the pandemic. The world that our teens are living in is very different from the one we grew up in.
The efforts are felt around the world. Our partners include centers in the poorest regions of Nairobi. Together we're changing the story for children everywhere.
Your becoming a member of Teaspoons goes a long way towards achieving the vision of a world where teen suicide is a thing of the past.
$27/month allows us to increase our efforts to suicide-proof a generation.
Your membership includes an engraved Teaspoon* and . . .
A subscription to the most powerful vision board platform on the planet ($249 value yearly)
The Advocates for Living program at only $47 one time purchase ($497 value)
In-person Presentation on Mental and Emotional Fitness for your group or organization (1 per year, $2,500 value)
Anonymous mental health screenings for depression and anxiety, includes mental health programs ($1,200 value)
Quarterly Members-only Mindset Reset Mastermind event with Jackie ($2,500 value, each)
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