"On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest, how depressed are you?"
"On a scale of 1-10, how much do you think about leaving this earth?"
I had to fight back tears as I listened in on a session with a social worker, and my mentee. She asked me to accompany her to the meeting for support, but I am not sure how much of a support I was if I could barely handle the answers to those questions. As she continued to share, I wondered how many other students were just like her, but did not feel safe enough to tell an adult what they were experiencing.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-14, which means many children do not feel comfortable or safe enough to be vulnerable with adults. Now that we know this, we have to make sure the adults working with kids are adequately prepared to not only handle trauma in kids, but to guide them to the resources available to them.
Here are a few tips that can aid this process:
The tips shared above do not come overnight, and need to be developed, but when we recognize the mental health crisis we are in, we take a different responsibility with ourselves, our students, and our community as a whole.