Offering Parents and Teens Information On Needless Suicide presented by Mental Health America of Arizona is a free depression education and suicide prevention program. We believe in educating our youth and the adults in their lives about mental health and mental illness. Early recognition of symptoms with combined treatment and therapy can help save young lives.
If you would like to contribute to the O.P.T.I.O.N.S. Program, you can now make a donation online by using your favorite Credit Card or your PayPal Account. Select donate to begin the process:
Why use the O.P.T.I.O.N.S. program?
- The students think it is helpful! When evaluated, 75% answered, “I would tell my friend how to get help if they were depressed or suicidal”.
- It is flexible! The program works best if presented to fewer than 50 students. We can give several presentations in a day or come back more than once. We want to reach as many students as possible so we offer a “Train the Trainer” component.
- There is no charge for the O.P.T.I.O.N.S. presentations, but we gladly accept donations.
Just a few of the facts:
- Untreated depression is the #1 cause of suicide.
- Life crisises or major changes are risk factors for teen depression.
- One out of 10 of our youth suffer from an emotional disorder.
- Of every 5 youth who are mentally ill, only one will seek treatment.
- Arizona is 3rd in the nation for teen suicides.
- Three children complete suicide each month in Arizona.
- Four of five teens who attempt suicide exhibit clear warning signs.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds in Arizona.
- For every completed teen suicide, approximately 100-200 attempts occur.
Mental Health America of Arizona contacts school personnel to introduce O.P.T.I.O.N.S. and help the school develop a procedure to follow when a student self-identifies or is possibly depressed or suicidal. Some schools may have qualified counselors to do the initial screenings and it is important to note students under 18 must have parental approval for a mental health screening. We provide resource agencies phone numbers for school or family use in the event that they do or do not have health insurance.
Teachers, administrators, counselors, and all other personnel who are in daily contact with the students are alerted to the signs and symptoms of depression, ways depression may appear in the classroom, and how to effectively help a student who self-identifies.
Mental Health America of Arizona educates parents about the symptoms of depression and the importance of seeking early treatment as 80-90% of teens that complete suicides have a diagnosable mental illness that is treatable. Parents learn how to tell the difference between typical teen behaviors and clinical depression, a biological, medical illness. O.P.T.I.O.N.S. mental health education can help reduce stigma so parents and teens will seek help for themselves or a friend.
In order to demystify mental illness, we teach teens about the biology and chemistry of depression, and transfer that knowledge about what is happening in the brain, to how someone behaves, thinks and feels. Students are engaged in a candid discussion about depression awareness and suicide prevention. Pre and post test/evaluations measure knowledge of depression. Students receive information about the symptoms of depression, warning signs of suicide and a list of 24-hour Crisis and Hotline numbers to call.
Train the Trainer
After O.P.T.I.O.N.S. reaches teachers and students, we will educate as many school personnel as you request on how to present the O.P.T.I.O.N.S. program and they will receive additional mental health information. The new “Trainers” will be able to present the program to incoming students and new teachers in order to provide continuing education of depression identification and suicide prevention. Mental Health America of Arizona will offer ongoing support for the school in order to continue the program in the school. The school receives training materials including a CD of the program’s ©PowerPoint presentation and all of the forms used in the program.
©2009 Mental Health America of Arizona
6411 E. Thomas Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 994-4407 | Contact Us