Suicide is the second leading cause of death among kids aged 11-18. 90% of kids who die by suicide demonstrate warning signs of suicidal intentions.
HERE Now (Helping, Engaging, Reconnecting, and Educating Now) responds to the urgent need for teen suicide prevention programs in San Diego County. HERE Now is working to prevent youth suicide, suicidal ideation, and help foster safe school environments through suicide and bullying prevention education. HERE Now is a collaborative program led by Lifeline Community Services in partnership with San Diego Youth Services, South Bay Community Services, and San Diego County school districts.
HERE Now conducts presentations at school campuses to educate 7th - 12th grade youth and their families about suicide risk factors – providing awareness and the knowledge needed to get help for troubled youth. Plus, HERE Now is changing the status quo by teaching education professionals how to recognize and respond to the warning signs; reducing the social stigma attached to those who seek mental health services; implementing bullying prevention efforts; and establishing a system of service that identifies vulnerable youth before they attempt suicide.
HERE Now also emphasizes peer support to prevent teen suicide through ACT® which encourages youth to be proactive by: Acknowledging that your friend has a problem, letting them know that you Care, and Telling a trusted adult about your concerns.
WHO WE HELP:
HERE Now serves students in middle and high schools throughout San Diego County.
If you, or someone you know has thoughts of self-harm or suicide please contact the San Diego Access and Crisis Line at 888-724-7240. For emergencies call 911 and ask for the PERT team.
STORY: (Story Photo: John & SDYS Team Member)
As a member of the HERE Now team, John knew firsthand the importance of identifying warning signs. Until the day he received the heart breaking news about his own son’s suicide, no one in the family had been aware of any warning that his son was depressed, much less considering self-harm. John’s son was ready for high school graduation and considering three different universities. He didn’t abuse alcohol, take drugs, or get into trouble. It wasn’t until the funeral that John learned his son had exhibited warning signs. Schoolmates shared that John’s son “wasn’t the same” and “was isolating himself from his friends.” Friends had been concerned, but simply did not know how to help him.
The HERE Now team works to connect with students and make sure they have the support they need to report the warning signs of self-harm. As John describes it: “The students are so receptive. I think it is because it’s such a big issue with our young people – and they know it.”
Last year the HERE Now program served more than 9,741 students of North County middle and high schools through suicide prevention and early intervention presentations. Of those served:
- 13.5% needed an additional safety assessment due to having suicidal ideations, histories of self-harm, thoughts around hurting others, having questions about suicide, or showing vulnerable behavior during the presentation.
- 100% of the students who presented at assessment with thoughts of suicide and/or at-risk behaviors, their parents were contacted and the youth and families were connected with services in the community.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Any help for the HERE Now program is a benefit to the program, and the youth it serves. Click here to support this program!