Home' Island Sun : ISN 100215 Contents ISLAND SUN - OCTOBER 2, 2015
by Shelley M.
It is so important
to highlight this
problem and inform
and educate people
about the nature of it and how to prevent
and help those in crisis. Today, as we
conclude this awareness month, I am
passing along some very important infor-
mation on suicide and adolescents as well
as the number of the new national Crisis
Suicide is the third leading cause of
death among youth between 10 and 19
years of age. However, suicide is prevent-
able. Youth who are contemplating sui-
cide frequently give warning signs of their
distress. Parents, teachers and friends
are in a key position to pick up on these
signs and get help. Most important is to
never take these warning signs lightly or
promise to keep them secret. When all
adults and students in the school commu-
nity are committed to making suicide pre-
vention a priority – and are empowered
to take the correct actions – we can help
youth before they engage in behavior
with irreversible consequences.
Suicide Risk Factors
Certain characteristics are associated
with increased suicide risk. These include:
• Mental illness including depression,
conduct disorders and substance abuse.
• Family stress/dysfunction.
• Environmental risks, including pres-
ence of a firearm in the home.
• Situational crises (i.e., traumatic
death of a loved one, physical or sexual
abuse, family violence, etc.).
Suicide Warning Signs
Many suicidal youth demonstrate
observable behaviors that signal their sui-
cidal thinking. These include:
• Suicidal threats in the form of direct
and indirect statements.
• Suicide notes and plans.
• Prior suicidal behavior.
• Making final arrangements (e.g.,
making funeral arrangements, writing a
will, giving away prized possessions).
• Preoccupation with death.
• Changes in behavior, appearance,
thoughts and/or feelings.
What To Do
Youth who feel suicidal are not likely
to seek help directly; however, parents,
school personnel, and peers can recog-
nize the warning signs and take immedi-
ate action to keep the youth safe. When
a youth gives signs that they may be
considering suicide, the following actions
should be taken:
• Remain calm.
• Ask the youth directly if he or she is
thinking about suicide.
• Focus on your concern for their well-
being and avoid being accusatory.
• Reassure them that there is help and
they will not feel like this forever.
• Do not judge.
• Provide constant supervision. Do not
leave the youth alone.
• Remove means for self-harm.
Peers should not agree to keep the
suicidal thoughts a secret and instead
should tell an adult, such as a parent,
teacher, or school psychologist. Parents
should seek help from school or com-
munity mental health resources as soon
as possible. School staff should take the
student to the designated school mental
health professional or administrator.
Also, it is important to be aware of
a new, free and confidential Crisis Text
Line available for everyone. Statistics
show that only 5 percent of teens are
willing to call a crisis line, but they are far
more willing to text anonymously with a
Crisis Text Line serves young people
in any type of crisis, providing them
access to free, 24/7, emotional sup-
port and information they need via the
medium they already use and trust: text.
Young adults simply text 741-741 from
anywhere at any time, a trained special-
ists responds quickly, then provides effec-
tive and secure counseling and referrals to
the individual in need.
Text “Listen” to 741-741 for help.
Shelley Greggs is adjunct faculty at
Florida SouthWestern State College,
where she teaches psychology and
education courses. She is also a nation-
ally certified school psychologist and
consultant for School Consultation
Services, a private educational consult-
ing company. Questions for publication
may be addressed to smgreggs@gmail.
com. Not all questions submitted can
be addressed through this publication.
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Three Championships In Three Years
Could Result In A Big League Job
by Ed Frank
Three championships in his first three years as manager,
including the first Florida State League Championship for
the Fort Myers Miracle baseball team – that’s the spar-
kling resume of Doug Mientkiewicz.
But don’t be surprised if the fiery and passionate
Mientkiewicz is not a member of the Minnesota Twins organi-
zation next year. In fact, there’s a good chance that he will be
managing a Major League team in 2016.
With no managing experience and only a hitting coach
for a rookie-level team in the Los Angeles Dodgers system,
Mientkiewicz was hired by Twins General Manager Terry Ryan
in 2013 to manage the Miracle, an Advanced A Minor League team.
That first year. he won a division title in the season’s first half. The second year,
he guided the club to its only Florida State League championship.
And this season, his Double A Chattanooga
Lookouts won the Southern League champion-
ship. It’s doubtful any other manager, Minor
League or Major League, can match that three-
season record. At Chattanooga, he managed
three top Twins prospects – Byron Buxton,
Miquel Sano and Max Kepler – that have
moved up to the Twins roster.
The Twins know full well of the outspoken
Mientkiewicz’s desire to manage a Big League
team. In fact, he was one of the finalists for the
Twins job last year before Ryan named Hall of
Famer Paul Molitor to the job.
Moilitor is certain to be considered
American League Manager of the Year for the
intelligence and leadership he has brought to
the Twins who are battling for a playoff berth
in the last week of the season. So the Twins’
job is no longer an option for Mientkiewicz.
It’s likely, however, that five or six Major
League manager’s job will be open at the end
of the season. And you can bet the house
that Mientkiewicz will be in the mix for one of
Mientkiewicz made no secret that he was
deeply disappointed that he was passed over
for the Twins job last year.
“I was ticked. I felt like the timing was right for me and the organization and for
the players we’re going with here the next couple of years,” he told a Minneapolis
reporter during spring training this year.
“If I get players to progress, that speaks for itself and someone, somewhere, will
have the faith in me and give me the reins of a Major League club,” he added.
We asked Ryan this week what the future holds for Mientkiewicz in the Twins
“Doug has done a tremendous job the last three years in our minor league system.
continued on page 38
photo courtesy Twins Media Guide
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