The holiday season, for many people, is a joyful time of the year typically filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings with family and friends. For others, however, the holidays could be a time where they experience sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety. Regardless, the holiday season of 2020 may be difficult for many of us. The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused increased stress and anxiety for many in our community as well as affected our regular holiday celebrations. We want to ensure that you have resources you can contact or utilize should you have a need for support.
We encourage you to check in with your children, family, friends, or a colleague and yourself. Take some time for self-reflection and reach out for support if needed. Participate in activities that bring you joy or calm and continue to build and maintain relationships with family, friends and colleagues. Check in with your child[ren] to seek if they may need additional support and resources. Every student in Sylvan Union School District has access to our school counselors as well as mental health clinicians and licensed social worker to provide support, if needed. If you believe your child has a need for this support, please contact your school office.
For you, and your friends and family, we are providing the following information and resources to support mental health and wellness.
In addition to experiencing stress and feelings of anxiety and depression, some families may struggle with and have to face mental health crises, including suicide. The CDC states, “Suicide is a serious public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. There are many factors that contribute to suicide. The goal of suicide prevention is to reduce factors that increase risk and increase factors that promote resilience.” Here is a link to the CDC resource on Suicide Prevention which includes links on Tips and Tools for Coping with Stress, Prevention Strategies and Resources.
Link: CDC Suicide Prevention
Here is a link with interactive tools to support you or a family member.
We have listed below warning signs and resources for Suicide Prevention.
NATIONAL SUICIDE HOT LINE NUMBER - 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741741
Know the Warning Signs
Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline (listed above).
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
- Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or isolating themselves
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Extreme mood swings
Know the Risk Factors
Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. The risk factors can't cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they're important to be aware of:
- Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
- Alcohol and other substance use disorders
- Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
- History of trauma or abuse
- Major physical illnesses
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- Family history of suicide
- Job or financial loss
- Loss of relationship(s)
- Easy access to lethal means
- Local clusters of suicide
- Lack of social support and sense of isolation
- Stigma associated with asking for help
- Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
- Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)
We are in this together and we here to support you and to support each other.
If you need help, ask for help. Speak to a friend, family member, or a colleague.
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Ask and Siri/ Google will connect you
- Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741741
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - www.afsp.org
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center - www.sprc.org
- CDC Tips for Coping with Stress