OSWEGO — With suicide being the second-leading cause of death among young people, Oswego School District 308 is reminding students and parents that help is available.
Information to reach three crisis assistance lines will be printed on the back of every student identification card for students in grades 6 to 12.
These include the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, Crisis Text Line and Safe2Help Illinois.
Anyone in distress or anyone trying to help someone who is may now call 988 to speak with a trained counselor at Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Even a brief 10- to 15-minute conversation can result in a caller feeling less suicidal, less depressed, and less overwhelmed, studies show.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s existing 1-800-273-8255 number remains in operation, but the service has received an update and now will be able to address more mental health concerns, as well as suicide crises.
Students seeking emotional support may reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, to reach a trained volunteer counselor.
Safe2Help Illinois is accessible via a telephone hotline, a text line and an email address.
The 24-hour hotline can be reached by calling 844-4-SAFEIL. The text line is 72332, while the email address is HELP@Safe2HelpIL.com.
Safe2Help Illinois also has a website full of resources for young people seeking help for themselves or a friend.
The service provides a confidential way for students to share safety concerns. Its Ways To Get Help page is a directory of various specialized hotlines.
Other sections on the Safe2Help Illinois website provide practical steps for dealing with depression or helping a distraught friend. The checklist called 20 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Feel Like Giving Up can help a teenager overcome a bout of anxiety or depression.
The helpline information on student ID cards is a requirement as a result of a new law proposed by a group of Naperville students whose legislation was passed unanimously by the Illinois General Assembly.
The following crisis and mental health resources are listed on the SD308 website:
* Visit the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Website.
* Dial 988 to reach the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
* Text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.
* Contact Safe2Help Illinois: Dial 844-4-SAFEIL, Text SAFE2 (72332), email HELP@Safe2HelpIL.com.
* En Español: Línea de Prevención del Suicidio y Crisis 988 y 1-888-628-9454