Help for Grieving Teens

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline

    Suicide affects us all. Every year, millions of Americans are directly affected by the more than 37,000 suicides and hundreds of thousands of suicide attempts made by friends or loved ones. Yet, suicide is preventable.  

    The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
    • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
    • 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 or agitated; behaving recklessly.
    • Sleeping too little or too much.
    • Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
    • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
    • Displaying extreme mood swings.

    Please visit these suicide prevention and peer support organizations for more resources and information.

    Suicide Prevention Organizations

    Mental Health Support Organizations


    YOU Matter

    Dove Self-Esteem Tool Kit

    Success for Teens Foundation
    Our Mission
    The SUCCESS Foundation provides youth with personal-development resources to inspire them to reach new levels of achievement.
    Our Vision
    The SUCCESS Foundation encourages today's teens to become tomorrow's achievers.

    Teen Contact

    Suicide is Preventable

    Self Harm

    Love Doesn't Have to Hurt

     dating violence1                                                                                                                                                        dating violence 3
    Love is Not Abuse
    About Relationship Abuse


    Dear Parents/Guardians/Educators,

    As a physician who specializes in care for adolescents, a researcher on teen dating abuse, and a parent of a teen, I am often asked by other parents to talk about the warning signs of dating abuse, what parents should be looking for, and how they can help their child navigate out of an unhealthy relationship. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to these questions.


    A common characteristic of unhealthy and abusive relationships is the control that the abusive partner seeks to maintain in the relationship. This includes telling someone what to wear, where they can go, who they can hang out with, calling them names, humiliating them in front of others. Over time, the isolation from one's social network increases, as the abuser insists on spending time "just the two of us," and threatens to leave or cause harm if things do not go the way they want, "You must not love me." Creating this isolation and dissolution of one's social supports (loss of friends, disconnectedness from family) are hallmarks of controlling behaviors. In addition, abusers often monitor cell phones and emails, and for example, may threaten harm if the response to a text message is not instant. Parents are rarely aware of such controlling tactics as these occur insidiously over time, and an adolescent may themselves not recognize the controlling, possessive behaviors as unhealthy. "They must love me because they just want to spend time with me."


    While the following non-specific warning signs could indicate other concerning things such as depression or drug use, these should also raise a red flag for parents and adult caregivers about the possibility of an unhealthy relationship:

        * no longer hanging out with his/her circle of friends
        * wearing the same clothing
        * distracted when spoken to
        * constantly checking cell phone, gets extremely upset when asked to turn phone off
        * withdrawn, quieter than usual
        * angry, irritable when asked how they are doing
        * making excuses for their boyfriend/girlfriend
        * showering immediately after getting home
        * unexplained scratches or bruises

    Sexual coercion and violence are also not uncommon in teen dating abuse. Again, because of the emotional abuse and control, victims of sexual violence may be convinced that they are to blame for what has happened. "You'd do this if you loved me" or "If you don't have sex with me, I'll leave you" are common examples of sexual coercion. In some instances, girls in abusive relationships describe how their partners actively tried to get them pregnant. Rarely do teens disclose such sexual abuse to their parents as they may feel shameful, guilty, and scared. Parents need to be aware of the possibility of sexual abuse, and to ensure that they communicate with their child that they are never to blame if someone tries to make them do things sexually that they don't want to do. And certainly, that no one ever has the right to put their hands on them, period. The physical and sexual violence can escalate quickly in these unhealthy relationships where the abusive partner has significant control over the other.


    Perhaps the best advice for parents is to start talking about what constitutes a healthy, respectful relationship early on with your child. Sharing the warning signs of teen dating abuse with your child and saying, "If you know someone who's experiencing something like this, let's talk about it, let's talk about how you can be a good friend and help them stay safe." Please assure your child that they are not to blame for an unhealthy relationship, and that you are available to help them be safe and happy. Please avail yourself of the many good resources available on teen dating abuse for youth and adults.


    Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD
    Chief of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    Love Is Not Abuse Coalition Member for Pennsylvania 


    Break the Cycle-Dating Violence

    Just Think Twice

    Drug Free.org

    The Drug Guide at The Partnership at Drugfree.org is a comprehensive and up-to-date source of drug information, including drug descriptions, slang terms, short term- and long term- effects, images, federal classifications and more.



    Drug Free World

    Drug Enforcement Agency

    Red Ribbon Campaign


    About the Red Ribbon Campaign

    The National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign. NFP provides drug awareness by sponsoring the annual National Red Ribbon Celebration. Since its beginning in 1985, the Red Ribbon has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America.

    Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. "I'm only one person", he told her, "but I want to make a difference."

    On Feb. 7, 1985, the 37-year-old Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent's side and shoved him in a car. One month later, Camarena's body was found. He had been tortured to death.

    In honor of Camarena's memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena's memory, the red ribbon.

    In 1988, NFP sponsored the first National Red Ribbon Celebration. Today, the Red Ribbon serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The National Family Partnership (NFP) and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year, through the National Red Ribbon Campaign.


    Drug Facts: Prescription Drugs

    Abuse of prescription drugs is skyrocketing among teens. This site from the Office of National Drug Control Policy outlines the three most commonly abused prescription drugs: pain killers, depressants and stimulants. For each category you can find out the street names, what the drugs are, the risk in taking them short-term, and the long term effects. The section "The Bottom Line" gives a terse explanation of why each category of drugs is so harmful.


    It Can Wait-Texting and Driving


    • The 40 Developmental Assets www.search-institute.org/developmental-assets/lists
    • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry offers a wealth of information on issues pertinent to children and their families. Download fact sheets on topics such as The Adopted Child, Children and Divorce, Preparing for Adolescence, Children and Grief, Discipline, Children Who Wont Go to School, Stepfamily Problems and more. www.aacap.org
    • Because I Love You (BILY) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting parents with troubled children of any age. BILY promotes structure, consequences and consistency in raising our kids and we have helped thousands of families over the past 18 years. www.becauseiloveyou.org
    • TOUGHLOVE International is a non-profit, self-help organization that provides ongoing education and active support to families, empowering parents and young people to accept responsibility for their actions. www.Toughlove.com
    • Love and Logic is a program to help parents and teachers raise responsible kids. It follows a philosophy that allows children to grow through their mistakes and live with the consequences of their choices. www.loveandlogic.com

    Mental Health Resources

    Study Skills

    • Virginia Tech self-help information including study skills, time scheduling, note taking, concentration, writing papers, etc. www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html
    • How to prepare and set goals, get information, process information, take tests, write papers, and study in specific subjects www.howtostudy.org


    Substance Abuse Concerns

    Community Resources

                         University Campuses

                         •  Collin College

                         •  Dallas County Community College District - DCCCD

                         •  North Central Texas College - Corinth - NCTC

                         •  Tarleton State University - Tarleton

                         •  Tarrant County College - TCC

                         •  Texas A & M University - Commerce - TAMUC

                         •  Texas Christian University - TCU

                         •  Texas Wesleyan Universtiy - TXWES

                         •  Texas Women's University - TWU

                         •  The Univeristy of Texas at Dallas - UTDallas

                         •  University of North Texas - Denton - UNT

                         •  University of Texas at Arlington - UTA



    Domestic Violence



    Clothing/Financial Assistance