As your child returns to school this September, it’s important to be aware that it’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This time of year can be especially difficult for some students, and their risk of suicide may increase.
While suicide rates among students decreased during the COVID lockdown, they went up by 18% when students returned to school. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people between the ages of 10 and 24 account for 15% of all suicides, making it the second leading cause of death for this age group.
As a parent, it’s crucial to acknowledge that your child could be vulnerable to mental health concerns, even if they haven’t been medically diagnosed with a mental health disorder. AFSPA is committed to supporting you in identifying the symptoms and offering necessary assistance.
What Signs to Look For
Ways You Can Help
How AFSPA Can Help
Members and dependents age 13 and up enrolled in the Foreign Service Benefit Plan (FSBP) can enroll in the following programs:
If you would like to enroll in the program, visit www.mystrength.com, select “Sign-up,” enter the access code “FSBP” and complete the myStrength™ sign-up process with a brief Wellness Assessment and personal profile.
FSBP stateside members can enroll at hellobrightline.com/FSBP or call the Brightline team at 888-224-7332 for any questions.
To register for Teladoc™ visit www.teladoc.com or call 855-Teladoc (855-835-2362) for more information.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, it’s important to know that help is available. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers confidential support that is free and accessible 24/7. Remember that recovery is possible and things can get better. Check out stories of hope and recovery on the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline website.
The CDC’s What Works In Schools is a school-based health and wellness program that has been shown to improve students’ behaviors and experiences. Schools that have implemented the program have been able to support mental health and reduce suicidality. Check to see if your child’s school is a participant in What Works In Schools.