THUNDER BAY – There is help for youth and parents on suicide issues . News that several youth in the city were rushed to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for what authorities have called “intentional overdoses” has raised concerns for both mental health officials and parents across the city.
There are resources out there for parents. The Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force is a community collaborative that was formed out of a call-to-action in 2007. This call-to-action was based on the growing need to address youth mental health issues and tragic events, such as suicide.
The website, www.heresthedeal.ca, run by the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Forces states, “When mental health problems are left untreated, children and youth may cope in unhealthy ways. It is important to be alert to changes in your child. Here are some potential signs to watch for:
- Change in behaviours, friends, or regular activities
- Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping far too much
- Low energy and motivation
- Frequent outbursts of anger or rage
- Decrease in marks and school performance
- Avoidance of family or friends
- Signs of self-injury
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Change in personality
- Constant worry or sadness
- Negative self-talk
- Change in physical health and/or hygiene
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Has experienced a recent loss
For parents, and teens, as well as teachers and friends, keeping the lines of communication open is an important part of the process. So is getting the help and the expertise needed.