Crisis Text Line takes suicide prevention into the age of texting

The hardest part for Lily Rayne was feeling alone.

Rayne is deaf and didn’t grow up with sign language. When she had suicidal thoughts, she couldn’t communicate or sign with a trained professional or a therapist. Nor could she pick up a phone to call a crisis hotline.

She eventually found help online by learning about cognitive behavioral therapy, but not before she had come dangerously close to taking her own life. Years later, she ran across a service that would have eased her sense of isolation in those dark hours: Crisis Text Line, which has brought the 1-800 support line into the age of texting. Read More…

Survey, conference aims to help Juneau residents find causes of disease, illness

A negative experience as a child can have a big impact on a person’s health, and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition wants to begin figuring how those experiences are affecting the people of Juneau — and spreading the word about the link in the first place.
“The ACEs study seems to be well-known within specific communities (like behavioral health) but broadly, in the community, it’s not well known,” said Hilary Young, Suicide Prevention Program Coordinator for Juneau Youth Services and JSPC.[..]
Many people may not have even spoken about negative experiences they had early on in life — but healing can start even just with the survey, said coalition member and retired state health planner and epidemiologist Alice Rarig.
“We find that just bringing it up, just showing that you care whether (a person has had) these experiences begins the recovery process,” Rarig said. “It helps people to acknowledge what they’ve been through. Sometimes they’ve never acknowledged it at all.” […]
Anyone can take the survey at It’s anonymous, though they do ask for a person’s sex and age range (they’d like to get a range of people representative of the community.) It’ll be available until the end of May, Young said. Read More…

How one Anchorage elementary school is transforming troubled students’ lives

In the middle of Anchorage magic is happening within the walls of North Star Elementary School. Bordered by low-income housing and blocks of small businesses, the Title I school and its staff make an intentional effort to look beyond disruptive behavior and outbursts to find and nurture a child’s unlimited potential.

The effort has paid off. Referrals to the Office of Children’s Services from the school are down, test scores are up and overall behavior has improved. Read More…

How Do You Help Someone Who is at Risk of Suicide?

How do you help someone who is at risk of suicide?

That’s a question that haunts the people of Greenland, the country with the highest known rate of suicide in the world and the subject of a special NPR report this week. The rate is about 80 per 100,000, and the group at highest risk is young Inuit men[…]
NPR talked with Harkavy-Friedman and Dr. Jitender Sareen of the University of Manitoba, both psychiatrists, about what is known about youth suicide and best practices for preventing suicide. Harkavy-Friedman studies teen suicide prevention, and Sareen studies suicide trends among Native people in the Arctic. The interviews have been edited for length and clarity. Read More..