We are grieving the loss of a lovely young woman from LHS. Her name is Kailia and indications are that it was by suicide. Our hearts go out to the family, staff, and students at LHS and all those who have been touched by the trauma of this loss. We greatly appreciate the outpouring of concern, the support of mentors, and other caring adults who step forward in times of need. The assistance of the county crisis response team and many youth pastors have been present to help at LHS this week. Thank you! And thank you to all our mentors who have stepped up to support students in our community.
Adolescence is a difficult time anyway, and anxiety and depression rates have soared during the pandemic. According to research published by Springtide (Mental Health and Gen Z: What Educators Need to Know 2022)
Of young people 13-24
“57% of young people say they have experienced trauma”
“34% of young people tell us they are not flourishing in terms of their mental health”
“Young people often say that talking about the mental health problems with others helps them cope. They want someone who will listen—not advise or fix—when going through something difficult. And, . . . they don’t want to share with just anyone. They want to talk to people they trust.”
Suicide touches all ages, classes, and socio-economic groups in any community. Any time this tragedy occurs, we ask how did this happen? What did we miss? What can we do better? A caring relationship with an adult can make a huge difference. In fact, Research from the National Council for Behavioral Health, says that it is one of the most important protective factors in preventing youth suicide (YMHFA.org). Many students lack these important caring relationships with adults. That why BTO works to connect caring adults in our community with a student who wants someone to talk to. If you are wondering what you can do, join us in helping to meet the needs of young people as a donor or a mentor. Visit www.BetheOneToday.org to learn more. Consider becoming a mentor or a donor.
Anyone in our community can help support youth by taking a Youth Mental Health First Aid Course. If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, youth leader, mentor, or someone who just wants to help, sign up for Youth Mental Health First Aid. The Lynden School District is offering opportunities coming up soon. Our Lynden Mentor Coordinators will teach a course in June, and have more offerings in the next school year as well. Stay tuned for more information.
- Crisis Care Line 800-584-3578 (Local Support for Mental Health Emergencies)
- WebMD article: http://teens.webmd.com/preventing-teen-suicide
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Teens and suicide: What parents should know | AFSP
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline: http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- Teen Link (866) 833-6546 (call or text)
- A confidential help line for teens – evenings 6-10 PM
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255; Español (888) 628-9454; Hearing/Speech Impaired (800) 799-4889
- NAMI Whatcom: 360-671-4950 or firstname.lastname@example.org