New York Association of
School Psychologists
New York Office of
Mental Health
“Is It Just the Blues? Adolescent Depression
and Suicide Prevention:”
A Workshop for Teachers
You are always there…
Teachers are significant adults in
the lives of students
 The student who returned to say “Thank
 The student who always looked for you
after school “to talk”
You are always there…
 But
will you really be there when they
need you the most?
 Do you know what to do when the student
says the most terrifying words a teacher
can hear…. “I want to die.”
There are skills every teacher needs to learn
and use to save one child.
Can you hear what I say?
 Sometimes
students say
Don’t worry about me, nobody cares
Please don’t tell anyone about what I said.
I really trust you.
My parents would be so angry if you talk to
them. Please, please, please don’t tell
Should you remain silent in order to keep
the student’s trust?
Can you hear the feelings?
 My
words will give me away.
I sound…
Do you really see me?
have no energy
 My clothes look like I’ve worn them for
days. Maybe they are all black.
 I find new friends. They are really
 I gain weight. I lose weight.
 I am cutting classes.
 I am angry and getting into fights
 I drink and drug a lot. Never used to….
I am changing…
 You
are the one who can say, this is
not the student I know.
 You know my personality, my friends,
my habits, my look, my strengths, my
weaknesses, my good days, my bad
Why are all the days bad now??
I know I don’t seem to be myself
suddenly change my ways
 I can’t make decisions
 I can’t concentrate, even on things I like
 I stay alone, away
 I don’t do the things I used to enjoy
 I hurt all the time
How can a Teacher help?
 Be
conscious about the signs and
symptoms of suicidal children
 Bring
concerns to appropriate staff
members so they can intervene
 Connect
the student to the staff member
who can help them seek treatment
 It is not your job to “diagnose” the problem
How can a Teacher help?
 Know
information about local
emergency resources
 Know the school psychologist and/or
social worker in your building
 Know the procedures for intervention
in the school
 Never fall into the mistaken belief that
you alone can save this child.
What is Depression in teens
all about?
 Depression
is a serious medical condition
 Risk factors increase the possibility of
depressive illnesses
 Among 25 friends, one could be clinically
 With the appropriate treatment, 80%-90%
of people with depression can be helped.
Risk Factors for Suicide
in Teens
history – genetic factors
 Difficult life experiences
 Difficulty handling stress
 Low self-esteem
 Drug abuse
 Alcohol abuse
 Family
Helping and Healing
Our students depend on us to…
 Listen
when others can’t
 See when others look away
 Understand changes when others say,
“It’s a phase”
 Hear when we say suicide.
And better yet, you take us seriously and Act
Save a teen this year

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