Province, police provide suicide, bullying resources
The Youth Engagement Section of the RCMP hosts an in-depth website offering resources on a variety of issues including bullying. These include facts on what bullying is, why people bully and who they target and how parents can deal with their child, whether they are being bullied or are the ones doing the bullying. It's available at www.deal.org
In B.C. the province is working on developing ERASE Bullying (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) to teach educators and partners to recognize bullying and address it, plus online tools, such as a Smartphone app, for kids to report bullying anonymously.
Other recommended resources include www.bullying.org or www.cyberbullying.ca
Numbers to call if you or someone you know is in crisis.
• 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).
• Youth in BC: 1-866-661-3311 (toll-free); this is an online crisis service where you can chat one-on-one with a trained volunteer 24 hours a day.
• Suicide Prevention Lifeline: A free 24-hour hotline in Canada or the U.S. at 1-800-273-8255.
• Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668-6868. This is a national organization offering bilingual, 24-hour toll-free confidential phone counselling, referral and Internet services for children and youth or their parents in English and French.
• Aboriginal People crisis line: 1-800-588-8717.
• Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Most children and youth having thoughts of suicide show signs of their distress, although some do not. Some of the changes families and others may see in children and youth who may be at risk for suicide include:
• Talking about suicide or a plan for suicide.
• Saying things like, "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I were dead," "I shouldn't have been born," "I won't be a problem for you much longer," "Nothing matters," or "It's no use."
• Making statements about hopelessness, helplessness or worthlessness.
• Complaining of being a bad person or feeling "rotten inside," refusing help or feeling beyond help. Not tolerating praise or rewards.
• Giving away favourite possessions or making a will.
• Being preoccupied with death.
• Showing a loss of interest in pleasurable activities or things they once cared about; always feeling bored.
• Feeling trapped, increasingly anxious, agitated or angry.
• Showing marked personality changes and serious mood changes.
• Withdrawing from friends and family.
• Expressing plans to seek revenge.
• Sleeping all of the time or unable to sleep.
• Having trouble concentrating or difficulties with school work.
• Complaining frequently about physical symptoms often related to emotions, such as stomach aches, headaches or fatigue; changes in eating and sleeping habits.
• Showing impulsive behaviours, such as violent actions, rebellious behaviour or running away.
• Increasing or excessive substance use.
• Becoming suddenly cheerful after a period of depression (this may mean the youth has already made the decision to escape their problems through suicide).