Bullying can take many forms, especially in our constantly evolving social environment. Most anti-bullying campaigns ask adolescents to step-in on behalf of the bullied to be an ally without getting to the root of the bully’s own behavior. This sense of social responsibility is good, however it does not transcend all environments and relationships.
Meet BecauseOfYou.Org. Their concept inquires all youth to be introspective and mindful of their own actions, language, and conduct.
As a suicide prevention community, one of our primary goals is increasing public awareness and educating people about suicide. There are many good documents that provide evidence-based recommendations for creating safe and effective messages to raise public awareness that suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem. The SPRC, National Action Alliance, AFSP, SAMSHA and many others have put forth guidelines to help us with awareness campaigns, as well as educational and training efforts in the community. All agree that there are definite Dos and Don'ts. In addition to message content, we also need to think about our targeted audiences and the best ways to reach them-i.e.-internet, social media platforms, places of work and worship, etc.
New York has taken the lead on enforcing mental health education in elementary, middle, and high schools. On July 1, 2018, New York schools will be required to administrate educational classes that provide a wide range of resources and skills that help students recognize, cope with, and understand potential mental health concerns.
After months of hard work, dedication and collaboration, we are delighted to officially announce the launch of Response Crisis Center’s rebrand.
At Response Crisis Center, our vision was to create a strong trusted, identity; provide our community with a safe place to turn in crisis, and offer suicide prevention information and assistance when needed. To reinforce our mission to create an extensive online resource, we’ve made Response accessible on mobile, desktop, and tablet– providing an immediate connection to our counselors on hundreds of devices. Response Crisis Center now promotes a clear, coherent message of suicide counseling and awareness to a wider demographic, across a multitude of platforms.
Thirteen Reasons Why (13RW) is a Netflix series adaptation of the book of the same name by Jay Asher. The series revolves around a high school student named Clay, who receives a series of tapes recorded by his recently deceased classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, which are about the 13 reasons why she died by suicide. Since its release on March 31st, it has grown in popularity among primarily middle school and high school students.
The series has prompted a strong negative reaction among many experts in the field of suicide prevention. Concerns center around the potential for young viewers to identify with Hannah and see suicide as a valid way to cope with life's challenges. Experts emphasize that this sends a dangerous message and that, in fact, suicide is not a common response to adversity and that most people with suicidal thoughts reach out for help (which should be encouraged) and that help is effective and available.
As Executive Director of Response Crisis Center, I’ve always been proud of my center’s capacity to respond to community needs — thus, our name: RESPONSE. However, our ability to respond to the complex needs of one our county’s 72 school districts was tested this past November when we learned of the second of two student suicides from one high school within a three week period.
Following the second suicide, the district angered the community through several missteps. For example, they held a school-wide assembly focused on bullying which left children feeling blamed and confused. Response’s Training Coordinator, a parent in the school district, reached out to administrative and mental health staff to advise them of our experience in postvention work. What ensued was the most challenging and rewarding six weeks of my career.