Programs target teen suicide, mental health

Programs Target Teen SuicideKings and Tulare counties have partnered to introduce two mental health training programs to help area high school students increase their knowledge of mental health issues and prevent suicide and other tragedies

Hanford Joint Union High School District, Lemoore Union High School District and other local districts are in talks to run the programs, Signs of Suicide (SOS) and RESTATE. The idea originated about two years ago with the Tulare-Kings Suicide Task Force, which approached the Tulare County Office of Education, Kings County Office of Education and Kings County Behavioral Health about pooling their resources to get these programs in schools within the next two months.

Adam Valencia, director of the Tulare County Office of Education’s choices prevention program, is part of a team overseeing the development of the programs in Tulare and Kings counties. “We’re trying to educate students on issues pertaining to mental health and how to reduce stigma and discrimination,” said Valencia.

Full story of mental health programs at The Hanford Sentinel

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Bullied kids more likely to contemplate suicide

Bullied Kids More Likely For SuicideTeens who are bullied by their peers are 2.5 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than those who haven’t had any recent harassment, according to a new study.

But, that risk jumps to between 3.4 and 4.4 times more likely when the child is sexually assaulted or mistreated by a parent, respectively. Suicide risk increases to six-fold for kids who have experienced seven or more individual types of victimization in the past year, the study found.

"Exposure to multiple forms of victimization is especially detrimental," study author Dr. Heather Turner, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, N.H., said to HealthDay. "These kids may be exposed to crime and violence at home by witnessing their parents fighting and other types of domestic violence, and they may witness violence in their neighborhoods and be bullied on the Internet. These are kids that are clearly experiencing a huge amount of adversity in multiple areas of their lives."

Full story of bullied kids and suicide at CBS News

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Anti-bullying programs take on new significance in wake of recent suicides

Anti-Bullying Program RisesThe cry coming from inside the locker sounded muffled.


But the principal heard. He opened the locker door, and a girl emerged.

"I tripped," she explained. She was new at school and too embarrassed to say that a trio of bullies had wedged her inside the locker.

Later, when classmates spread mayonnaise on her hair and splashed her with water, she went back to the principal for help.

The skit played out in the library of the Hazleton Ninth Grade Center where other anti-bullying programs unfolded at the same time Monday afternoon in the cafeteria and gymnasium. The programs got students to think about what bullying is, why people become bullies and how to stop them.

While the anti-bullying programs had been planned since summer, they took greater significance after four students, including a 13-year-old boy in Hazleton, committed suicide last week in Luzerne County.

Full story of anti-bullying program at Standard Speaker

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Anti-bullying bill is overdue but blessed

By Heather Mallick

Jamie HubleyWhen a student commits suicide because of bullying, the bully committed a crime. He or she likely won’t be charged. But an innocent was slaughtered, even if the weapon was merely words slicing at the delicate human heart.

The victim calls out from beyond for justice. I have the feeling that young Jamie Hubley, the kind, funny Ottawa boy who killed himself in October, would ask only for some kind of retroactive kindness. The families need to know that their child’s cries for help were finally listened to, even if too late. The bully has to face what he or she did.

But most importantly, the swarms of bullies currently in Ontario schools have to learn that bullying is sickening and contemptible, that it can scar the victim’s soul and plant the seeds of lifelong depression. Bullies have to be told to stop; in fact, never to start.

Full story at The Star

Kan. student aims to overcome mental illness

By Shaun Hittle

Severe DepressionLAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Caitie Hilton‘s academic transcript at Kansas University, at first glance, doesn’t look very impressive.

Multiple withdrawals from classes, entire semesters missed and only two years’ worth of credits despite being at KU for five years since graduating from Lawrence High School.

But looked at from another perspective, Hilton’s academic progress is an inspirational story of a local woman who refuses let her mental illness keep her from success.

Beginning after the death of a close friend when Hilton was 15, she’s battled severe depression, facing multiple in-patient hospitalizations and periods when she couldn’t do much.

Full story at

School Bullying, Violence Against LGBT Youth Linked to Risk of Suicide, HIV Infection

By Science Daily

Critical new research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who experience high levels of school victimization in middle and high school report impaired health and mental health in young adulthood, including depression, suicide attempts that require medical care, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and risk for HIV. This is the first known study to examine the relationship between school victimization during adolescence — specifically related to sexual orientation and gender identity — with multiple dimensions of young adult health and adjustment. The study demonstrates the importance of addressing and preventing anti-LGBT victimization at the structural or school level to reduce health disparities among LGBT young people.

The study is published in the Journal of School Health, the journal of the American School Health Association.

Analyzing data from the Family Acceptance Project’s young adult survey, the authors examined experiences related to school victimization during adolescence based on known or perceived LGBT identity among 245 LGBT young adults, ages 21 to 25. They found that LGBT young adults who were victimized in school because of their LGBT identity reported much higher health and adjustment problems, while students with low levels of school victimization had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction as young adults.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Excessive Pain, Often Suicidal Type

By Cynthia W. Lubow, MS, MFT

To continue to discuss the very different types of experience people have with depression, this is one that most people don’t experience, but is important to address, since some do. Suicide is not in this case a tool to get people to do or feel what the suicidal person wants; it’s simply the ultimate way to make unrelenting emotional pain stop.

I believe people’s experience of the emotional pain of life varies tremendously. Some of this is due to genetically influenced brain chemistry and resilience, but much of it is due to how much trauma and emotional hurt, loss, injustice, abuse, and other painful experiences people have experienced. We have beta endorphins in our brains to numb pain and create euphoria, so we can handle both physical and emotional pain. But people are born with varying amounts and life events can influence our supply as well. For people with very little of this chemical, life is much more painful.

Full story at