I know of seven teen suicides in 2018 that happened in school bathrooms.
While I was at a school in Indiana, I shared with the administration there what I had heard the night before from another one of my clients: A freshman in a high school tied his cell phone cord into a knot in the boys’ bathroom and hung himself in a stall.
The teacher started to notice that the student had been gone a little too long and sent other students to look for him. Can you imagine students walking into the bathroom not knowing that their lives would forever change in that moment? Think about the trauma this would inflict on anyone.
The students run out yelling and screaming, and now everyone is in crisis mode…
Does your school have an emergency plan in place for something like this? Please don’t think, “Jeff, this would never happen in our school.”
My friends, I work in as many as 100 school communities every year that have lost a student to suicide or a car accident. A loss of any kind can devastate a community, creating an impact that can forever change a student body and a school community. Teachers and staff form relationships with their students, and our schools are like families. Everyone is touched by a loss.
It’s tough when I visit these hurting communities to help teens, teachers and staff, parents, and counselors - and it’s not necessarily the kids that are on the school’s radar that we have to worry about. What about the kids that haven’t spoken up? What do we do about the students that we don’t know are hurting? How can we help if we don’t know?
Teen Suicide is an epidemic that has our mental health professionals and school administrators scrambling to understand how to help today’s teens.
In my book, Teen Suicide: The WHY Behind America’s Suicide Epidemic, I talk about today’s youth and their mental health. I talk about why our teens are hurting. Two reasons I hear from teens is that they feel alone and they feel they’re a burden or a disappointment.
Today, mental health is becoming an issue for our school administrations and teachers, but ultimately this is a parenting responsibility. I find that many of our teens are defeated and coming from broken homes. School is the safest place for our youth, but school shouldn’t be the place that has to find the solutions to society’s issues. If you read my book or watch my TEDx Talk, you’ll see where a lot of these issues come from.
We are living in very difficult times of concern for today’s youth, and we have a responsibility to step up. Parents, teachers, coaches, friends, bus drivers – everyone in the school environment - we all have to understand the signs of trouble. We need the ability to see the red flags and know when we have to say something. We have to be more supportive and teach our teens that significant trusted adults - our teachers and school staff – are the people they have to reach out to when they are in pain.
Suicide is not the solution. Our teens are in so much pain that suicide becomes a forever decision for a temporary situation. Oftentimes the act of suicide is an emotional reaction in the here and the now that doesn’t need to happen.
This video shows our school administrators where in-school suicides are happening and what they should do about it immediately.
Important Links on Jeff Yalden Website: https://www.TheJYF.org
Contact Page: https://thejyf.org/contact/
The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. (Donate): https://thejyf.org/foundation/
TEDx Talk - https://youtu.be/nP_xXPvJctI
Tippecanoe Valley High School - https://youtu.be/rpfVjoYAgik
Barnard, MO - https://youtu.be/KAKnjeFyRR0