Help for Professionals

We have to recognize it before we do anything about it. Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in our West Virginian youth. Despite opinions and perspectives, no one knows all the answers; we know it is a problem warranting public health concern. We need to recognize and respond, so no one goes unnoticed. We have to be active in ensuring we don’t continue to lose young individuals to the most preventable death. We don’t know why, we don’t have all of the answers, we just know we have to do something. Get help from our professional trainers.


We Can Recognize.

What do I need to know? Learning about the risks of suicide and taking preventive measures against such factors incorporates important components of suicide prevention. There are signs and warnings for suicidal intent and completion. They are both recognizable and referable.

  • Ideation
  • Substance Abuse
  • Purposelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Trapped
  • Hopelessness
  • Withdrawal
  • Anger
  • Recklessness
  • Mood Changes

We Can Respond.

All signs are worth recognizing. Every statement warrants a response. Dismissing doesn’t make it go away. You don’t always get a chance for hindsight, you have to act. As an individual interacting with youth, we know you tend to identify adolescents who seem vulnerable or at risk. Is there something setting off alarms and raising red flags? How do you know if what you’re seeing is part of the normal ups and downs of adolescence or something more severe? There is no fool-proof way to automatically know the intention of the individual you are concerned about. The only thing to do is ASK, QUESTION and TALK to the person. Saying the word doesn’t make someone more apt to do it. If the word suicide has crossed your mind about someone who seems to be depressed or in psychological pain, then it has probably crossed their mind as well.

We Can Remain.

  • Stay there
  • Let them know you can help

We Can Refer.

Direct the person towards help. Direct directly; don’t count on them to seek help themselves, as they have sought you as a source of help and a person to trust. Lead them to the most appropriate intervention. Know your resources and referral process. If you don’t know where to go, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8 for help. Sometimes intervention is being in the right place at the right time. Your role in youth suicide prevention is critical. You may be the one to save a life. We have interventions that might work. Even if you only save one life, it would be somebody’s someone.


Resources for Professionals

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need help, call or text 9-8-8 now. You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area.

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Crisis Text Line is free 24/7 support at your fingertips where every texter is connected with a real-life, trained Crisis Counselor. All Crisis Counselors are volunteers, who donate their time to helping people in crisis. Text 741741 or send a message on WhatsApp.

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The SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. They provide technical assistance, training and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. SPRC promotes collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention.

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SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

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The CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, DCD fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin formed the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse and six regional task forces because substance abuse threatens West Virginia’s families, workforce and communities with over 152,000 West Virginians in need of treatment. Community members know their towns and neighbors best. They understand what is at the root of their particular problem. This site will provide the user with the latest information on what is happening in their communities.

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For more than 50 years, Search Institute has been a leader and partner for organizations around the world in discovering what kids need to succeed. Our research, resources and expertise help our partners in organizations, schools and community coalitions solve critical challenges in the lives of young people. We focus on deepening understanding and working with partners to improve the lives of young people in three critical areas: Developmental Assets, Developmental Relationships and Developmental Communities.

Click to Learn More is a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyber-bullying is, who is at risk and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.

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Since 1989, the Children’s Safety Network has been making America a safer place for children to live. Their mission is to reduce the likelihood of children becoming victims of abuse, abduction, exploitation, youth violence and preventable injury. With the goal of helping parents raise safer, healthier children by developing and implementing child safety programs on a national basis, the Children’s Safety Network acts as a true “network” to bring hundreds of resources to bear.

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The WV School Health Technical Assistance Center is based at the Center for Rural Health, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University. Since 1994, the Center has provided technical assistance to and evaluation of school based health centers. Currently, the Center provides technical assistance to support community and school partnerships for school based health services in areas of primary health care, mental health and dental health.

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A hub of information for teachers, administrators, counselors, family members and students. It includes links to student leadership opportunities, career counseling, resources for families, a speaker series, tutoring services and much more. The Common Ground Partnership, established in 2011, consists of the West Virginia Board of Education, the state Department of Education and every military branch.

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The Kids Count Data Center provides state legislators, public officials and child advocates with reliable data, policy recommendations and tools needed to advance sound policies that benefit children and families.

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The National Child Traumatic Stress Network was established to improve access to care, treatment and services for traumatized children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.

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