“Teens in today’s world are proficient at multi-tasking, yet they can get so discouraged with their world. That makes your outreach program, “Teens Can Survive,” so important.” ~ Mary McDermott Cook, President, The Eugene McDermott Foundation
One of the most important objectives of the Teens Can Survive is to educate the community on teenage depression and suicide. The SCCenter promotes awareness by speaking directly to youth in community organizations such as schools, church youth groups, and other youth organizations. We also work closely with school counselors and other members of community organizations to create effective identification and intervention strategies. Awareness training consists of identifying the warning signals that often occur before a suicide attempt is made as well as the steps to take should a person identify as suicidal.
Mental Health Check-up
In addition to awareness training, the Suicide and Crisis Center also facilitates mental health screening for youth. While education and awareness are important, mental health screening is very successful in identifying the youth who are suffering in silence. The program is unique for it can reach a large amount of youth in a limited amount of time. The SCCenter strongly believes that just as youth receive an annual physical check-up, it is important for them to receive a mental health check-up as well. The SCCenter offers screening for no charge to community organizations.
How the screening works: The SCCenter partners with Columbia University to offer its screening program to organizations and schools in the North Texas area. The screening employs advanced computer technology, sensitive interviewing design and self-reporting techniques to detect dangerous levels of depression among young people, as well as other warning signs that can lead to suicide. We can facilitate the screen through the schools' computer labs, or we are able to set up a station with laptops if the organization or school does not have access to computers. If computers are not an option, then the screen can be administered as a paper and pencil version. The youth completes the screen, which takes only 10 to 15 minutes. If the youth identifies as depressed or is showing signs of suicide ideation, he or she is then interviewed by a mental health professional to determine the level of risk. The youth's family is contacted and referrals for mental health resources are given.
Feedback from Professionals Concerning Mental Health Screening
"I am enthusiastic about the work that you are all doing at the high school. Research has strongly supported the positive impact of screening as a means of reducing teen suicide. We know that the "proof is in the pudding." Thanks to this program and the professionalism of the high school staff, you have changed (and potentially saved) the lives of students. I'd say this is an incredible testament to this program." – A North Texas psychologist
"I am now a firm believer in the power of being able to identify students who are in need before they become hopeless. We provide their families with information so they can get help for their child. With this tool, we are proactive rather than reactive in serving our students' emotional needs. I am able to follow my identified students throughout the year, working on coping skills and communication. This program saves lives!" – A high school counselor
Feedback from High School Students Concerning Mental Health Screening
"I thought that it helped me understand some things that are going on in my life."
"I thought that this was a good interview, so that if there are people that do need help they can get it before it's too late."
"I believe that this interview was very helpful and hopefully whoever is checking this can get me help with my different problems."
"I think it is cool that you are interested."
"It should be continued."
"I thought that it was helpful. It is a good way to maybe save a life."
"I thought it was good and can save someone's life."
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