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R U OK?
Every day, 5,420 teens grades 7 through 12 attempt suicide.
If that number scares you, it should. Today’s teens have a lot to deal with – from peer pressure to substance abuse to technology addiction, online bullying and gender confusion. Sometimes, all they really need is for someone to ask a simple question: R U OK?
My newest book, R U OK?, speaks candidly to teens about depression, suicide and the issues they face every day. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death in young people aged 10 to 24, and the vast majority of suicides are completed by people struggling with depression or other mental illnesses. By asking these three simple words to a friend of family member, “R U OK?” offers struggling teens an opportunity to ask for the help they so desperately need.
I have first hand experience with clinical depression, substance abuse and suicide. My husband, Bill, completed suicide by running in front of a train in Dana Point where we lived. In R U OK?, I use my story – and those of teens with whom I’ve worked – as teaching tools. The book includes discussion questions to help readers identify risk factors and warning signs of depression and suicide.
Above all, R U OK? offers readers a message of hope – a promise that they are not alone, that they can overcome their situation and that there are resources available to help them now.
If you or your teen needs more information, resources or immediate help, please know it’s available! The following toll-free hotlines are available to help 24/7:
Teenline (This is a crisis hotline for teens to talk to other teens): 800-TLC-TEEN
AFSP American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
Trevor Lifeline (Crisis line for LGBTQ youth): 866-488-7386
Bullying Hotline: 800-273-8255
National Eating Disorder Association: 800-931-2237
National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline: 877-437-8422