Fighting Teen Suicide
Most people have become aware of our ever increasing and alarming rates of teen suicide. Utah is more than double the national average for completed teen suicide. Families who never thought this would be an issue for them are facing this problem and possibility while feeling powerless to do anything about it. A lot of families that I work with feel like they are headed towards a cliff and can’t stop the rate of acceleration. All of their efforts to turn back seem to back fire.
The fact is, the underlying causes of teen suicide are very treatable. We can prevent teen suicide. Parents often tell me that they have “tried everything” and my response is that they have tried everything that they know how to try. There are a lot of tools, skills and approaches that are useful and extremely helpful but they aren’t commonly known, accepted or practiced.
My response to the suicide crisis has been to teach resiliency to teens. After nearly twenty years experience working with teens I have been able to fine tune my approaches. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and adapt to change when life throws problems and curve balls at us. I teach specific resiliency skills to teens. They often take to them like a fish to water. They love feeling like they are strong and resilient.
Resiliency skills go much further when parents take an active role in improving their own resiliency and reinforcing resiliency in their teens. When families undertake this process together, they can see drastic improvements in short amounts of time. Parents who bring their teen to therapy with me should be prepared to also attend, participate and put in some of their own work and efforts as well.
The Resiliency Alliance
I have started my own non-profit organization dedicated to fighting teen suicide by spreading the messages of resiliency to both teens and parents; I call it The Resiliency Alliance. I used this name because I want to promote the idea that we all must join together in the fight to save our teens from the suicide epidemic. I also wanted to promote the idea that we are stronger when we join together.
You check out the website at www.resiliencyalliance.org and follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/resiliencyalliance