Suicide and Drugs are two issues that have long affected the lives of teenagers across the world. Countless teenagers die every year from suicide and/or drug use. In the face of growing concern over stopping teen suicide and drug abuse, MCPS has launched a new suicide and drug abuse prevention campaign called “BTHEONE.”
“BTHEONE” stands for #BTheOne (to help), and it is broken down into five steps. The first step is to ask the teenager in question if they are considering taking drugs or committing suicide. The second step is to keep them safe by asking what their intentions are and proceeding to keep them away from anything dangerous. Calling 911 may be necessary.
The third step in this process is to be there for them. This can be accomplished by listening to the reasons of their pain and showing them empathy and compassion. The fourth step is to help them connect to a support system, so that that they have others to reach out to when they need help. Some examples of effective support systems would be: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the Crisis Center (240-777-4000), family, friends, educators, clergy, coaches, co-workers and/or therapists.
The fifth and final step is to follow up. Making contact with the troubled teen in the days and weeks after a crisis can really make a big difference in keeping them safe and alive. Check in with them on a regular basis to stay informed on their wellbeing.
The ripple effects of teenage suicide and drug use can be seen all across the United States, and according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Starting in 2016, a group comprised of behavioral health, education and non-profit professionals began meeting to plan how to reach adolescents and teens in the community with important messages. These important messages were conveyed to prevent drug abuse and suicide among teens as much as possible.
In the end, the true end goal with this campaign is that students will realize that suicide and drug use is not the answer. There are solutions for students struggling with these topics. “BTHEONE” is a venture made by leaders are truly trying to save countless teenage lives.
If you are struggling, or are considering suicide/having suicidal thoughts, call:
Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or
24 Hour Crisis Center at 240-777-4000
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Matthew Minton of Quince Orchard High School