Helping Kids in Crisis

  • CDC Statistics
    • 1439 will attempt suicide
    • 2795 girls will become pregnant
    • 25006 Teens will use drugs for the first time
    • 2506 will run away
    • Truancy and violence have increased tremendously
    • Teens account for 1/4 of all STDs
    • 50% of all teens use alcohol or drugs

  • Hotlines
    • Child Abuse Hotline: 800/422-4453
    • AIDS: Teens Teaching Teens AIDS: 800-234-TEEN
    • Just Say “No” 800/258-2766
    • Alcohol and Drug Hlepline 800/252-6465
    • Teen help 1/800-637 - 0701 - need help with a teen
    • Covenant House Nineline 1800/999-9999
    • 800/442-HOPE - National Youth Crisis Hotline

  • Recognizing Adolescent Depression (clinically depressed teens usually exhibit three or more of the following symptoms or behaviors:)
    • Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping more than is normal)
    • Low energy level, chronic tiredness
    • Extended periods of feelings of inadequacy, loss of self-esteem, or self-deprecation
    • Decreased effectiveness or productivity at school, work, or home
    • Decreased attention, concentration, or ability to think clearly
    • Social withdrawal
    • Loss of interest in or enjoyment of pleasurable activities
    • Irritability or excessive anger (in children, often expressed toward parents or caretakers)
    • Inability to respond with apparent pleasure to praise or rewards
    • Less active or talkative than usual, or feels slowed down or restless
    • Pessimistic attitude toward the future, brooding over past events, or feeling sorry for self
    • Tearfulness or crying
    • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

  • Shorter list:
    • Boredom and restlessness
    • Fatigue and preoccupation with their bodies
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Acting Out
    • Flight to or from people
    • The key is an observation of dramatic change

  • Suicide Danger Signs:
    • Direct suicide threats and comments (“I wish I were dead”; “You’d be better off without me.”)
    • A previous suicide attempt, no matter how minor
    • Preoccupation with death in music, art, and writing
    • Loss of a family member, pet, or boy/girl-friend (through death, abandonment, or breakup)
    • Family disruptions (parental unemployment, serious illness, relocation, divorce)
    • Problems with sleeping, eating, and personal behavior
    • Problems with schoolwork; loss of interest in school or hobbies that had been important
    • Dramatic changes in behavior patterns (such as a shy adolescent suddenly becomig extremely outgoing)
    • Prevailing sense of gloom, hopelessness, and helplessness
    • Withdrawal from family members and friends; alienation of important people
    • Giving away prize possesions
    • A series of “accidents,” increase in rish-taking, or loss of interest in personal safety


      Any threat of suicide demands immediate professional attention. How you react to a suicide attempt can be crucial If someone close to a teen has committed suicide, it is crucial that you talk about it

  • Eating Disorders: Some Warning Signs
    • Anorexia
    • Intense fear of becoming fat that does not diminish as weight is lost
    • Disturbance of body image (claiming to look “just right” or even to “feel fat” even when emaciated)
    • Extreme, self-induced weight loss (25 percent or more of original body weight, or 25 percent below normal weight for someone her age and height)
    • Denial that anything is wrong


      Anorexia requires immediate medical attention. First step is to stop weight loss. Second step is to improve body image. Since many anorexics suffer from depression, antidepressant medication my be recommended.

  • Bulimia
    • Recurrent episodes of binge eating
    • Fear of not being able to stop eating during binges
    • Regular use of self-induced vomiting, laxatives, rigorous diets, or fasting to counteract the effects of binges
    • Awareness that one’s eating patterns are abnormal


      While anorexics tend to be withdrawn and antisocial; bulimics often appear extroverted and well-adjusted. Not eating makes an anorexic feel in control, while bulimics ride an emotional roller coaster.