YOU ARE NOT ALONE is a youth led suicide prevention training and outreach program.
Our goal is to empower youth to appropriately care for and educate each other about suicide prevention. YANA’s focus is on early intervention and creating hope through positive action.
The fact is: Asking someone directly usually, lowers their anxiety, opens up lines of communication, and also lowers the risk of an impulsive act.
If a youth tells a friend they are thinking about suicide, most often that friend will not seek the help of an adult.
YANA is working on a peer-to-peer level to empower youth to involve adults and teach the resources that can bring hope to those who are suffering.
You don’t have to be an expert to help prevent a suicide.
Anyone can learn the signs and make a difference by reaching out to those in need at the earliest possible time and accessing appropriate support.
Our message is simple:
“YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”
You Are Not Alone’s focus is on early intervention and offers 4 simple,
self-sustaining programs which can be easily incorporated into any school or youth group:
1) Wristbands with the Careline
2) Evidence Based Suicide Prevention Class
3) Youth Presenter Training
4) YANA Club
There has been such amazing community involvement and support. We are extremely appreciative and recognize that YANA is not the result of one person or one small group but the hard work of many dedicated participants. The success being achieved would not be possible without the many generous community contributors!
Always tell a trusted adult about your concerns, and directly tell your friend, “There is hope…You Are Not Alone!”
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Withdrawing or isolating from family and friends
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated, or behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Displaying extreme mood swings
- Loss of interest in things one cares about
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving things away, such as prized possessions
- Changes in eating, sleeping, and personal care
- Apathy, lack of energy, inability to focus
- Losing interest in hobbies, work, school, friends etc.
- Withdrawing from social relationships or activities
- A victim of bullying and/or extreme social humiliation
- Suffering from an underlying mental health issue
To have YANA present a full class to your school or group, go to “Contact Us”.
2. Keep in mind that how a person dies does not define who they were. Focus on memories, stories, and accomplishments. It is healing to write these down and can also be shared with family and friends at an appropriate time.
3. Realize the loss is being experienced by more then just family and friends. Teachers, school counselors, and coaches are also experiencing grief and shock. For parents looking for ways to get involved: Drop off a card at the school, bring some cookies, organize a pot luck lunch for school staff. Most importantly, do what you would normally do, if there is the loss of a student!
4. Emphasize there are many things we can do to try and prevent a suicide but ultimately we can not control another person’s actions. We do not know the full extent of another’s struggles. If survivors feel guilty, help them to work through those emotions and understand they are not responsible. This may be difficult; a few sessions with a grief counselor may be very helpful.
5. Everyone grieves differently. Part of healing is going through the process and it helps to be nonjudgmental of another’s way of expressing grief. Some youth feel they don’t have a right to be upset when they hear of an event but didn’t know the person well. Suicide can be scary and upsetting; validate feelings youth express following a death and let them know that everyone has a right to grieve the loss.
6. For additional information download the Toolkit For Schools.
7. Lastly, remember to spread the message, “YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”
Call 911 for immediate emergency intervention.
Call the 24/7 Alaska Careline 877-266-HELP (4357).
*You can call the Careline for yourself or to get advice about a friend.
Go to the closest hospital or medical facility.
Text the Alaska Careline “4help” to 839863 Tuesday-Saturday 3pm-11pm.
Tell a trusted adult, someone who will take you seriously and react appropriately.
Please go to the “Resources” page for additional sources of support.
You Are Not Alone features some of the youth presenters on the news!
This original song by Justin Pendergrass was inspired by the YANA outreach and written as a message of hope for those youth who are struggling.
The video is by the North West Arctic Borough School District Youth Leaders.