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Youth Mental Health First Aid



6: You are on facebook one Sunday morning and click on a nice picture someone has tagged of your
niece in Tampa. When you look below, you notice a long series of comments – a conversation really
– between your niece and someone else. Seems someone needs to adjust their privacy settings!
Your niece is pretty open in the conversation about being fed up with school and all the cliques,
and wondering if they would even notice if she were to kill herself with the bottle of pills she has in
her room right now.

Do you:

 a) Log off immediately – it is not your business what your sister’s kid is up to. Anyway, kids make
jokes and threats all the time about this stuff.

b) Email your brother about it – tell him what you saw and suggest that he had better check up
on her at some point this weekend.

c) Call your niece immediately on her cell phone, tell her what you overheard/saw, and tell her
that you are concerned about her. Even though you are at home, use your own cell phone so
you can use the land-line to call a hotline or even 911 if you have to.

7: Your son seems to have lost all pride in his appearance and enthusiasm for life. His speech is sluggish, he’s sad all the time and he’s recently given away several favorite possessions.


Do you:

a) Ask if there’s anything he’d like to talk about and try to find out if he seems depressed or has had any thoughts about ending his life.

b) Keep the conversation light – avoiding any discussion of suicide or death – he is upset enough already and you wouldn’t want to put the idea in his head.

c) Tell him to snap out of it. He is lucky to have what he has. When you were a kid you didn’t have half the things he does and he should be grateful.


8: While you are all sitting around watching TV one weekend, you notice that a young friend of your daughter has some symmetrical scarring on the backs of his calves. Looks like from a knife, or possibly a sharp pointed object, like a needle. Although his pants usually cover them, when he crosses his legs some of the scars are visible.


Do you:

a) Call his parents and notify them that their son is either a cutter, or worse, involved in some sort of scarification cult.

b) Ask your daughter later if she has seen these scars and if she has talked to him about it. Tell her a bit about non-suicidal self-injury, why some people might do it, and what kind of help might be available. Offer to talk to him if she would be more comfortable.

c) Point out the scars during a commercial break and ask him directly what they are from. Watch his face closely to see if he seems to be lying and call him on it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              p.3