Suicide Prevention Hotline

Photo of Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 988
  • Talking Points Regarding Suicide Depicted on TV or in Movies

    taken from Suicide Awareness Voices of Education and Jed Foundation

    • The current popular show is a fictional story.
    • You may have similar experiences and thoughts as some of the characters on TV shows or movies. People often identify with characters they see on TV or in movies. However, it is important to remember that there are healthy ways to cope with difficult situations and act on suicidal thoughts is not one of them.
    • Whether you have watched a TV show/movie or not, and you feel like you need support or someone to talk to reach out. Talk with a friend, family member, counselor, or therapist. There is always someone who will listen.
    • Suicide is not a common response to life’s challenges or adversity. The vast majority of people who experience bullying, the death of a friend, or any other adversity do not die by suicide. In fact, most reach out, talk to others and seek help or find other productive ways of coping. They go on to lead healthy, normal lives.
    • Suicide is never a heroic or romantic act.
    • It is important to know that, in spite of the portrayal of serious treatment failures depicted on TV shows or movies, there are many treatment options for life challenges, distress, and mental illness. Treatment works.
    • Suicide affects everyone and everyone can do something to help if they see or hear warning signs that someone is a risk of suicide. Our 7th and 8th graders participated in our Lifelines: suicide prevention lessons earlier this year. Additional information about Lifelines is shared below.
    • Talking openly and honestly about emotional distress and suicide is ok. It will not make someone more suicidal or put the idea of suicide in their minds. If you are concerned about someone, ask them about it.
    • Knowing how to acknowledge and respond to someone who shared their thoughts of emotional distress or suicide with you is important. Don’t judge them or their thoughts. Listen.
    • Be caring and kind. Offer to stay with them. Offer to go with them to get help or to contact a crisis line.
    • Regardless of how they are portrayed on TV or in movies, school counselors are a professional and trustworthy source for help. If your experience with a school counselor is unhelpful, seek other sources of support such as a crisis line.
    • While not everyone will know what to say or have a helpful reaction, there are people who do, so keep trying to find someone who will help you. If someone tells you they are suicidal, take them seriously and get help.
    • Suicide is never the fault of survivors of suicide loss. There are resources and support groups for suicide loss survivors. 

    If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide:

    • Text “START” to 741741
    • Call 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

  • Should You Worry About Your Child?

    • taken from the Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program.

      ​Experts have identified warning signs of suicide that might indicate a child is at risk. While this list is in no way exhaustive, it does identify specific categories that are important to remember. They are organized around the words FACTS.


      F: Feelings

      • Hopelessness: feeling like things are bad and won’t get any better
      • Fear of losing control, going crazy, harming himself/herself or others
      • Helplessness: a belief that there’s nothing that can be done to make life better
      • Worthlessness: feeling like an awful person and that people would be better off if he/she were dead
      • Hating himself/herself, feeling guilty or ashamed
      • Being extremely sad and lonely
      • Feeling anxious, worried, or angry all the time

      A: Actions

      • Drug or alcohol abuse
      • Talking or writing about death or destruction
      • Aggression: getting into fights or having arguments with other people
      • Recklessness: doing risky or dangerous things

      C: Changes

      • Personality: behaving like a different person, becoming withdrawn, tired all the time,not caring about anything, or becoming more talkative or outgoing
      • Behavior: can’t concentrate on school or regular tasks
      • Sleeping pattern: sleeping all the time or not being able to sleep at all, or waking up in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
      • Eating habits: loss of appetite and/or overeating and gaining weight
      • Losing interest in friends, hobbies, and appearance or in activities or sports previously enjoyed
      • Sudden improvement after a period of being down or withdrawn

      T: Threats

      • Statements like “How long does it take to bleed to death?”
      • Threats like “I won’t be around much longer” or “Don’t tell anyone else . . . you won’t be my friend if you tell!”
      • Plans like giving away favorite things, studying about ways to die, obtaining a weapon or a stash of pills: the risk is very high if a person has a plan and the way to do it.
      • Suicide attempts like overdosing, wrist cutting

      S: Situations

      • Getting into trouble at school, at home, or with the law
      • Recent loss through death, divorce, or separation; the breakup of a relationship; losing an opportunity or a dream; losing self-esteem
      • Changes in life that feel overwhelming
      • Being exposed to suicide or the death of a peer under any circumstances

  • Considerations for Viewing 13 Reasons Why

    13 Reasons Why Discussion Guide

    Netflix Pin Protection Option - Parental Controlswing


    From National Association of School Psychologists National Association of School Psychologists
    We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character. Unfortunately, adult characters in the show, including the second school counselor who inadequately addresses Hannah’s pleas for help, do not inspire a sense of trust or ability to help. Hannah’s parents are also unaware of the events that lead to her suicide death.
    While many youth are resilient and capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the show is vital. Doing so presents an opportunity to help them process the issues addressed, consider the consequences of certain choices, and reinforce the message that suicide is not a solution to problems and that help is available. This is particularly important for adolescents who are isolated, struggling, or vulnerable to suggestive images and storylines. Research shows that exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death, can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide.
    What the series does accurately convey is that there is no single cause of suicide. Indeed, there are likely as many different pathways to suicide as there are suicide deaths. However, the series does not emphasize that common among most suicide deaths is the presence of treatable mental illnesses. Suicide is not the simple consequence of stressors or coping challenges, but rather, it is most typically a combined result of treatable mental illnesses and overwhelming or intolerable stressors.

  • How Can Parents Address Their Role in Suicide Prevention?

    taken from the Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program

    Here are some suggestions:

    • Pick a good time. You want your child’s full attention, so choose a time when there are minimal distractions and a reasonable degree of privacy.
    • Be conversational. Remember that the goal is to have a conversation with your child, not deliver a lecture. It always helps to have a “reference point,” such as an event or a news story or the school’s Lifelines classes, to start the conversation. (“I was reading in the newspaper that the rate of suicide for teens has increased…” or “I noticed on the school’s Web site that the school is having a suicide prevention workshop for teachers…”)
    • Be honest. If this is a hard subject for you to talk about, acknowledge it. (“You know, I never thought I’d be talking with your about suicide. It’s a topic I’ve never been really comfortable with…”) By acknowledging your discomfort, you give your child permission to acknowledge his or her discomfort, too.
    • Be direct. Ask open-ended questions to clarify your child’s responses. (“Tell me how you feel talking about suicide.” “What do you think about suicide?”)
    • Listen to what your child has to say. You’ve brought up the topic. You’re interested in his or her responses, so simply listen to your child’s answers. Don’t interrupt or interject your opinion unless asked.
    • If you hear something that worries you, ask for more information. (“You say that one of your friends has talked about suicide. Tell me more.”)
    • Open the door to revisit the conversation. Suicide isn’t a one=time discussion topic. Once you’ve made it okay to talk about, it should be easier to bring up again. If you’ve heard something that concerns you, make sure to ask about it again.

  • Guidelines for Addressing Worrisome Behaviors

    taken from the Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program

    • Don’t worry about overreacting. Sit with your child and let him or her know about your concerns. (“You said something that worries me.” Or “You don’t seem to be yourself lately.”
    • Be specific about your concerns. (“I’ve noticed you aren’t spending as much time with your friends and you seem annoyed when they call you.” Or “You spend hours doing homework, but every time I check on you, you’re just staring into space.”)
    • Expect your child to discount your concerns. (“All the kids are having trouble getting homework finished.” Or “My friends are annoying.”) Explain that you are concerned about your child. Be prepared to offer more than one example; the more evidence you have, the harder it will be for your child to minimize your examples.
    • If your child says anything that even hints at thoughts of suicide, ask about it. For example, statements like “sometimes I’m not sure life is worth living.” Or “I just can’t take it anymore.” Must be explored further. You cannot plant the idea of suicide in your child’s mind by asking about it! In asking about thoughts of suicide, you open up the lines of
    • communication as well as introduce the idea of help-seeking by asking to hear more about your child’s distressing thoughts.
      Act immediately if you have concerns about suicide. Get your child to a mental health professional as soon as possible for an evaluation. A list of facilities that provide free evaluations is listed below in the resources section. Whatever resource you choose, indicates the urgency of the situation. Make sure to use the phrase “at risk for suicide.” Although the evaluation might determine that your child is not an immediate risk for suicide, this is an assessment you’d like to have made quickly, and it is a decision that is best left to a trained mental health professional.

  • Additional Information Regarding Suicide Prevention

    taken from the Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program.

    We often do not address the third-leading cause of death in our youth after accidents and homicides. This is youth suicide.
    Youth suicide is a quiet secret that take the lives of over five thousand of America’s youth each year. But five thousand is a large number that in some ways masks the more personal impact of death by suicide. Let’s break that number down into figures that are a bit easier to understand.

    • Every year, there are approximately ten youth suicides for every 100,000 youth.
    • Every day, there are approximately eleven youth suicides.
    • Every two hours and eleven minutes, a person under the age of twenty-five completes suicide.

    These numbers tell only part of the story. Experts estimate that for every suicide death there are between fifty and two hundred attempts. Why is there such a difference in these estimates? One reason is that there is still so much social stigma about reporting a death as a suicide that is often recorded as accidental.
    Every year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts a Youth Risk Behavior Survey in which high school students are asked about a number of health-related questions. In 2007, 6.9% of students in grades nine through twelve reported an attempt and 14.5% of high school students reported suicidal thoughts or ideation.
    Our kids are challenged by thoughts and feelings about suicide and we as their parents and caregivers need to be better prepared to deal with this disturbing reality. Talking with your children about suicide is as important as talking about drugs and alcohol and safe driving. Giving your kids permission to talk about suicide opens up an important area of communication. Suicide is, in fact, often referred to as a “crisis of communication.” People who struggle with thoughts of feelings about suicide report that they are often afraid to bring up the subject. By opening up the conversation your model how suicide can be talked about and reinforce your availability as a supportive resources when your child is having a hard time.

  • Mental Health/Behavioral Resources

    Please contact your insurance provider FIRST to determine where they have authorized access for mental health services. Please confirm, either while making an appointment or prior to going to an appointment, if your insurance provider is accepted. In addition, your insurance provider may have referrals to specific therapists who specialize in children and adolescent issues.


    Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL)

    Georgia Crisis and Access Line
    ​Callers have access to a clinician who will triage the crisis over the phone.
    If unable to de-escalate over the phone; a DD and Mental Health team go-to the location of the crisis.
    Staff able to 10-13 (involuntary transport) or go with the family to the hospital with their assessment information.

    Lakeview Behavioral Health

    1 Technology Parkway South Norcross, GA 30092
    Lakeview Behavioral Health
    Age Range: 9-17.
    Insurance: Free assessments, accepts most major insurance and CMOs.
    Inpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization.

    Laurelwood Hospital

    200 Wisteria Drive Gainesville, GA 30501
    Laurelwood Hospital
    Age Range: 12-18
    Insurance: Free assessments, accepts most major insurance with the exception of Cigna and Tri-Care
    Inpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization

    Peachford Hospital

    2151 Peachford Road Atlanta, GA 30339
    Peachford Hospital
    Age Range: 4-18.
    Insurance: Free assessments, accepts most major insurance and CMOs.
    Inpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, parenting classes.

    Ridgeview Institute

    3995 South Cobb Drive Smyrna, GA 30080
    Ridgeview Institute
    Age Range: 11-17.
    Insurance: Accepts most major insurance and CMOs.
    Inpatient, stabilization, DBT.

    Riverwoods Hospital

    223 Medical Center Drive Riverdale, GA 30274
    Riverwoods Hospital
    Age Range: 9-17.
    Insurance: Accepts most major insurance and CMOs.
    Inpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization.

    Summit Ridge Hospital

    250 Scenic Highway Lawrenceville, GA 30045

    Summit Ridge Hospital
    Age Range: 13+.
    Insurance: Free assessments, Accepts most insurances, with the exception disability Medicaid (SSI).
    Inpatient, Outpatient, Partial Hospitalization.

    View Point Health Crisis Stabilization Unit

    2591 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032

    View Point Health Crisis Stabilization Unit

    Age Range: 14-17.
    Insurance: CMOs (Amerigroup, Peachstate, Wellcare), and uninsured; Bed purchase for SSI Medicaid, when other Medicaid facilities are full or deny.

    Treatment Agencies

    Catholic Charities Counseling Offices/Atlanta*

    (404) 920-7745 (English and Espanol)

    Catholic Charities Counseling Offices/ Atlanta
    Services offered on a sliding-fee scale. Check website or call for more details.
    Services offers individual, couples, family, children, and adolescent counseling/therapy provided by highly qualified, professional therapists., marital and family conflict, adolescent issues, depression, anxiety & stress, support with addictions, grief & loss, challenging life transitions, anger management and impulse control, relapse prevention, school conflicts and behavior problems, sibling rivalry, parent-child relationships, domestic violence and trauma care, Play Therapy.

    CETPA, Inc.*

    770-662-0249 (Admin/Treatment)
    678-646-5959 (Prevention Building

    CETPA, Inc.
    Behavioral Health Services (including Evaluations/Assessment, Individual/Group Therapy, Nursing Services, Medication Management and more) and Substance Abuse Prevention.
    Provides services in English and Spanish for Spanish speaking consumers or bilingual consumers who, to avoid misunderstanding, prefer to communicate in Spanish.
    Sliding Fee Scale—Check website or call for more information.

    Families First*

    404-853-2844 (for appointments)
    404-541-3040 (Gwinnett Office)

    Families First
    Hours: Wednesday 11:30PM – 7:30PM, Thursday 9:00AM – 5:30PM, Friday 9:00AM – 5:00PM.
    Services offered on a sliding-fee scale—Proof of Income needed.
    Provides Individual, Family, Marriage and Group Counseling.
    Check website or call for more details.

    ViewPoint Health

    678-209-2411 (M-F 8:30am-5pm)
    1-800-715-4225 (after hours)

    ViewPoint Health
    Check website or call for more details.
    Mental health services serving Adults and youth that may benefit from integrated physical and mental health services. Services for youth may include health screenings and ongoing care, as well as, individual, group or family counseling. Provides limited pharmacy services at some sites. View Point Health fees are established by the State of Georgia on a sliding scale based on family size and amount of income.
    Clubhouse: 678-209-2550 Serving youth who are in need of intensive substance use recovery supports.
    Emergency services 24-Hour Access to Care by calling View Point Health. Since emergencies can occur anytime, a mental health professional with psychiatric backup is always available by calling 678-209-2411

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)


    GCPS does not endorse or recommend any of the above agencies, as this list is for informational use only. Any fees incurred are the responsibility of the parent and/or student. This is not a complete list of resources for counselors or counseling assistance in Gwinnett or the Metro Atlanta Area. Please check with your insurance provider for referrals as well as with other sources of information for additional resources.
    Updated 2/15