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While junior high and high school are full of new experiences and challenges, these formative years can be extra difficult for youth who are struggling with a mental disorder, bullying, abuse, or engaging in self-harm.
I came across a web site specifically for teens that are facing these serious issues. YourLifeYourVoice.org is a site that offers 24/7 access to A Boys Town Hotline counselor. What’s so cool about this site is that it gives the youth an opportunity to reach out via email, online chat, or text, if they do not feel comfortable calling the hotline number and speaking to a live person.
The site has a community bulletin board where people can anonymously post their questions and concerns, along with counselor’s response. This is great for someone who may not be ready to reach out quite yet, but is looking for advice given to other people facing similar issues. Some of the topics discussed on the bulletin board are relationships, family, suicide, feelings, abuse, addiction, bullying, and school. This board also illustrates to the youth that they are not alone.
Nearly one in five teens will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives. In a nationwide survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16% of youth in grades 9-12 have seriously considered suicide. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24. It is just as important as ever to know the warning signs of suicide, and be comfortable intervening if someone you know or love is exhibiting these signs.
To learn more about the warning signs of suicide, go to: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Learn/WarningSigns
Click here to visit YourLifeYourVoice.org
About Jill Sauser, The Kim Foundation Project Coordinator
Jill graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2009. During her time at UNO, she completed a two year PR practicum program where she worked with numerous nonprofit clients including the MS Society, The Archdiocese of Omaha, The Omaha Food Bank, and YWCA. Since becoming Project Coordinator at The Kim Foundation in April 2014, she has become an active member of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition, The Omaha Metro Hoarding Taskforce, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, the Metro Area LOSS Team, and is helping lead a community-wide health improvement initiative with the Douglas County Health Department called, “Just Reach Out,” which is focused on improving the people’s view on mental and behavioral health treatment.