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What You Can Do
What you can do
Depressed youth should not have access to firearms; two-thirds of youth suicides in Oregon occur with guns.
  • Take suicidal and homicidal talk and preoccupations with violence seriously.
  • Know the warning signs of depression. Recognize that the acting-out behavior is what is seen at the surface, with depression potentially being the cause. Patience and understanding are critical.
  • If you know a child, adolescent or young adult who shows signs of depression, suicide or homicide:

    Show you care. Listen and connect with the youth.

    Make it clear that the youth (and others) need to remain safe. treatment program. Set limits and review the potential consequences of threats or dangerous behavior to the youth and others.

    Share with parents your specific concerns, including suicidal or homicidal statements or actions that have the potential for seriously endangering others. When safety of the youth or others is seriously at stake, this should take priority over the need for confidentiality.

    Talk with the parent or youth about immediate referral for a comprehensive mental health evaluation by a professional trained in recognizing and treating depression in youth.

    If the parents or youth seem ambivalent, ask why and review this publication with them. Discuss the seriousness of depression in youth and the fact that problems can improve with treatment.

    Recognize that depressed youth are most likely to achieve maximum improvement in the quickest timeframe when multiple treatment options are utilized.

    Understand that it is essential for youth and families to understand and fully comply with treatment recommendations.

    Help to make sure depressed youth do not have access to firearms or other hazardous objects.

    Share this publication with the youth?s teacher and primary care practitioner.

    Let your legislative representatives in both the Oregon House and Senate know how important it is for Oregon insurance plans to have full parity between mental and physical health needs.