JJ's Hello Foundation was created by Michelle and Josh Anderson following the loss of their 12-year-old son JJ to suicide on February 13th, 2016. JJ was a straight A student, involved in school leadership, sports and always helped out in the community. He was not someone you would think was depressed or suicidal.
IN THE COMMUNITY
The Silent Epidemic
FACTS AND STATS
Suicide is the #2 cause of death for children ages 10-14 years old.*
For college-age youth (ages 18-22), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. *
Overall, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for our youth ages 10-24. *
(*2019 CDC WISQARS)
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
Each day in our nation, there is an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people in grades 7-12.
Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.
Disclaimer: The diagnosis and treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders require a trained medical professional. The information contained in this website reflects the opinions of JJ's Hello Foundation and is intended for educational purposes only. It should NOT be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment of any mental/psychiatric disorders. Please consult a medical professional if the information here leads you to believe you or someone you know may be depressed.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Feeling unhappy or sad in response to disappointment, loss, frustration or a medical condition is normal. Many people use
the word "depression" to explain these kinds of feelings, but that is really situational depression, which is a normal reaction to events around us.
There's a vast difference between "feeling depressed" and suffering from clinical depression. The despondency of clinical depression is unrelenting and overwhelming. Some people describe it as "living in a black hole" or having a feeling of impending doom. They can't escape their unhappiness and despair. However, some people with depression don't feel sad at all. Instead, they feel lifeless and empty. In this apathetic state, they are unable to experience pleasure. Even when participating in activities they used to enjoy. they feel as if they're just going through the motions. The signs and symptoms vary from person to person, and they may wax and wane in severity over time.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEENAGE AND ADULT DEPRESSION
Depression in teens can look very different from depression in adults. The following symptoms of depression are more common in teenagers than in their adult counterparts.
Irritable or angry mood - As noted above, irritability, rather than sadness, is often the predominant mood in depressed teens. A depressed teenager may be grumpy, hostile, easily frustrated, or prone to angry outbursts.
Unexplained aches and pains - Depressed teens frequently complain about physical ailments such as headaches or stomachaches. If a thorough physical exam does not reveal a medical cause, these aches and pains may indicate depression.
Extreme sensitivity to criticism - Depressed teens are plagued by feelings of worthlessness making them extremely vulnerable to criticism, rejection, and failure. This is a particular problem for "over-achievers."
Withdrawing from some, but not all people - While adults tend to isolate themselves when depressed, teenagers usually maintain some friendships. However, teens with depression may socialize less than before, pull away from their parents or start hanging out with a different crowd.
EFFECTS OF TEEN DEPRESSION
The negative effects of teenage depression go far beyond a melancholy mood. Many rebellious and unhealthy behaviors or attitudes in teenagers are actually indications of depression. See the list below for some of the ways in which teens "act out" or "act in" in an attempt to cope with their emotional pain
SUICIDE WARNING SIGNS IN DEPRESSED TEENS
Talking or joking about committing suicide
Saying things like, “I’d be better off dead,” “I wish I could disappear forever,” or “There’s no way out.”
Speaking positively about death or romanticizing dying (“If I died, people might love me more”)
Writing stories and poems about death, dying, or suicide
Engaging in reckless behavior or having a lot of accidents resulting in injury
Giving away prized possessions
Saying goodbye to friends and family as if for the last time
Seeking out weapons, pills, or other ways to kill themselves
KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR
KNOW WHAT TO DO
When asked whom they would turn to if they were in emotional distress, most young people say they would reach out to a friend.
The fact is, most people who are thinking of suicide don’t really want to die. They just need someone to lead them toward a better solution.
Are you prepared to recognize a friend in need and steer them towards help?
Learn to recognize the warning signs of suicide:
A sense of hopelessness about the future
Drastic changes in behavior or personality
Uncharacteristic impulsiveness, recklessness or risk-taking
Expressions of rage, uncontrolled anger, aggressive behavior
Preoccupation with death, dying, or suicide through writing, talking or artwork
Giving away prized possessions
Loss of interest in personal appearance
Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
Extreme anxiety or agitation; inability to sleep or sleeping all the time
A recent severe stressor, such as real or anticipated loss of a relationship, unplanned pregnancy, the victim of bullying or family conflict.
A previous suicide attempt or exposure to another’s suicidal behavior
Verbal signs such as:
• “I’m so tired. I don’t feel like I can take this any longer.”
• “I don’t want to be a bother anymore.”
• “I want you to know something, in case something happens to me.”
Take it seriously. Ask what is going on and how you can help.
Be persistent. Be willing to listen. Allow for expression of feelings.
Be non-judgmental. Don’t act shocked or angry as this creates distance. Let the person know those suicidal feelings are temporary and depression can be treated. Don’t try to argue a person out of suicide. Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Offer hope that alternatives are available. Keep talking. Remind him that no matter how awful his problems seem, they can be worked out, and you are willing to help. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask whether he is considering suicide. Be direct. Ask if he has a particular plan or method in mind. Talking openly about it is the first step toward help. It may be a relief to the person to know that it’s all right to talk about it.
If you don’t think the situation is life-threatening, try to get your friend to agree to talk to someone—a family member, physician, counselor or other mental health professional.
If you feel that he may be in danger, immediately call someone who can help. A crisis line is a good place to start (see numbers on the back). These people are trained to help resolve the crisis.
Remove all lethal means from immediate access, including guns, pills, kitchen utensils, and ropes.
If you think the person could act on thoughts of suicide, do not leave them alone until help is available.
If the situation is life-threatening, go with the person to the nearest emergency room, walk-in clinic, or mental health treatment center.
JJ’s Hello Foundation does not offer crisis counseling or emergency services and this website should NOT be used as a substitute for medical advice, counseling, or other health-related services or as a replacement for the services of a trained medical or mental health professional. If you are feeling suicidal, thinking about hurting yourself, or are concerned that someone you know may be in danger of hurting him/herself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a free, 24-hour hotline, at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). If you feel that you are in a crisis or an emergency, or are at risk for suicide or other harm or injury, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.
FEELING DEPRESSED OR SUICIDAL
Please call or text the numbers below anytime
National Suicide Prevention Crisis Line 24/7 365 days
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Text "Hello" to 741-741
I'm Alive (Online Crisis Chat)
The Trevor Project - 1-866-488-7386
Local Resources in Sacramento California
Suicide Prevention Hotline (Wellspace) 916-368-3111
JJ's Hello Foundation welcomes emails from persons seeking information about our programs, educational materials, support groups, and other resources for those touched by suicide. However, this email system is not a crisis or counseling service. JJ's Hello Foundation does not provide counseling or advice by email and does not respond to email messages that seek help or advice concerning a person, including you, who is suicidal, depressed, or otherwise in crisis. Because we do not know who or where you are and want to protect your privacy, we cannot refer or forward your message to anyone outside our organization.
Note: By clicking on “SEND” below, you acknowledge and agree that JJ's Hello Foundation has no duty to respond to your message and will not respond if your message seeks help or advice concerning a person, including you, who is suicidal, depressed, or otherwise in crisis, and JJ's Hello Foundation cannot forward or refer your message to anyone outside our organization.