As hosts, you will get to know the youth and may become the primary support person in their lives. We can’t ever predict what each day will look like, but we want to prepare you with the resources you may need in case there is an emergency while the youth is in the host home. Remember that these youth may have been traumatized, which impacts our overall health and well-being. THRIVE! staff work closely with the youth and can connect them to mental health supports when appropriate. Feel free to visit the resources below to learn more about physical health and various coping strategies some of our youth may engage in.
Learn the signs, the facts, and how you can help prevent suicide.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.
Each one of us can play a vital role in ensuring that all young people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are provided with safe, accepting and supportive environments at home, at school and in our community.
Trust your instincts if you notice differences in someone’s behavior. If they seem depressed, disinterested or irritable, tell them you’ve noticed, and let them know what raises your concern. If someone isn’t sleeping or they seem agitated, are drinking more alcohol than usual, try to connect and be persistent.
If a young person is experiencing a suicidal crisis, the immediate steps you should take are removing access to lethal means and helping them get to mental health care. There are medications and therapies that have been proven to reduce suicidal ideation and change brain function in the area that controls decision-making and impulsivity. This helps to remove the tunnel vision of the suicidal moment. Finding the right health team can be a tough task, but there are people out there who will work with them to make sure they get back to feeling well.
To access information, referrals and crisis intervention services, contact the Mental Health Association of Frederick County’s 24-hours Call Center by dialing 211.
For additional information on the warning signs of suicide, contact the National Association on Mental Illness.
Other resources include:
- Preventing Suicide (Warning signs, Risk factors, Facts About Suicide, How You Can Help, Reporting About Suicide)
- Talking about Suicide and LGBTQ Populations
- Y-CARE: How to Help Someone in Crisis
- I Jumped Off The Golden Gate Bridge
Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence
More than 12 million people in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence each year. While domestic violence typically happens behind closed doors, in some cases it does happen in a public space or around friends or family members, meaning that other people may witness or be aware of the abuse. When we overhear or see something that doesn’t feel right, it can be difficult to know how to react…On average, it takes domestic violence survivors seven times to leave the relationship for good, so if it’s physically and emotionally safe for you, try to continue offering support in any way you can. Believing and supporting them can be a major factor in helping them stay safe or helping them find empowerment to leave when they’re ready.
Learn more at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
The urge to hurt yourself may start with overwhelming anger, frustration or pain. When a person is not sure how to deal with emotions, or learned as a child to hide emotions, self-harm may feel like a release. Sometimes, injuring yourself stimulates the body’s endorphins or pain-killing hormones, thus raising their mood. Or if a person doesn’t feel many emotions, he might cause himself pain in order to feel something “real” to replace emotional numbness.
Learn more at the National Association on Mental Illness.
Myths and misconceptions surround eating disorders that can make it more difficult to provide effective help to young people who might be struggling with these issues. The National Eating Disorders Association created a series of toolkits for parents, educators, and coaches to help dispel myths and provide accurate, up-to-date information in an easy-to-use guidebook.