Suicide…Signs and Resources to Help

Authored by Chris Berishnyi, Youth Services Crisis Counselor

Suicide…  It’s a word that’s been in the news much too often lately. suicide-preventionAlmost everyone has been impacted by it and or knows someone who has attempted it, whether it’s a family member, close friend, or a classmate. Many times there is guilt associated with it, as loved ones wonder if there was anything they could have said or done that could have prevented the tragedy.

There are signs to look for that may indicate someone is contemplating suicide. Any suicide-prevention-1change in a person’s behavior that makes you pause can be such a sign. Some examples of these types of behaviors are: withdrawing from friends and family, missing work and moodiness. Additionally, there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts and attempts, such as depression and drug use, and a build-up of stress may act as a trigger.

Approaching someone with these concerns may be difficult for a number of reasons. One such reason is the myth that asking someone if they are thinking about suicide may give them the idea to do it, if they are not already contemplating it. girl-suicide-signIn fact, talking to someone you are concerned about shows that you care and give them an opportunity to express their feelings, which they may have been holding in due to fears that nobody cares about them, or feeling that their situation is hopeless.If and when you do decide to approach someone with your concerns, be prepared to listen and not judge their feelings. On the surface, it may appear that the person has a lot to live for, but they may not see it that way due to suffering from major depression. Talk about what is important to them and worth living for. After talking to them, you can help them connected to those who can help, such as mental health professionals or clergy. There are numerous other resources as well. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention lists the following resources:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-488-TALK (8255)
  • LGBT Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
  • Crisis Teen Text Line: text “LISTEN” to 741-741
  • There also apps, such as MY3 and SAFEUT.
  • The University Neuropsychiatric Institute’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) has a warm line (801-585-0129) where you can call and talk to a State of Utah Certified Peer Specialist.

And call Salt Lake County Youth Services at 385-468-4500 and ask to speak with a crisis counselor.

Posted in Bully, Child Abuse, Communication Tips, Family Counseling, Mental Health, Mental Health, Parenting Tips, Safe Place, SLCO, Substance Abuse, Teen Counseling, therapist, Treatment, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snapchat it’s here to stay

Authored by: Janae Briggs, Prevention and Outreach Case Manager

What is snapchat? Snapchat is an app that is basically like texting but with pictures. It has been said that snapchat was created to send very, very naughty pictures of you. 41% of teens in the world have downloaded snapchat from the Apple ITunes store.


A few years back before snapchat made new changes, and changed the privacy codes, it just use to work by sending pictures and no one could screenshot. There was no way of keeping the picture that someone sent you. People would send pictures and you could only look at it for 10 seconds at the max, and that was it. Now, people can replay your snapchats and also screenshot them. The new changes that have been made, allow people to do more things or take advantage of the app and people themselves.

Snapchat is a fun way of communication, but always very sketchy so be careful with what you send to people. You can also have a lot of fun with the new snapchat filters, and stickers, they’re really funny to mess around with. Like I said before, snapchat can be a good but also a bad thing. So just be careful with what you do with it and what you post on it.

A few interesting facts about Snapchat:

The forecast looks good for Snapchat according to eMarketer. It is forecasting explosive growth for Snapchat’s ad revenue by next year. This jump is said to be attributed to Snapchat’s ability to reach younger millennials, its wider ad portfolio, and targeting ad improvements.

Augmented Glasses are almost here

Snapchat augmented glasses are almost here. It has been reported that they have been staffing for a team to start work on the glasses.

Since Snapchat has recently joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) this leads to speculation that they are getting closer to a real product. This also leads people to believe that becoming part of the SIG they will produce a device that connects to smartphones through Bluetooth.
Despite having 150 million daily active users who are addictively engaged with the app and a valuation of almost $20 billion, Snapchat faces fierce competition, especially from Facebook-owned Instagram.

It is evident that Facebook is not afraid to outright copy Snapchat by their introduction of Instagram Stories. It is a complete clone of Snapchat but people don’t care as evidenced by its 300 million daily active users.

To not be brushed aside by Facebook, Snapchat will need to look beyond its app. Hardware could be one avenue.

Remember as first stated, have lots of fun with Snapchat but be careful! Once it is sent, there is no way to get it back. You never know others intentions or motives.

Melanie Aviles, Salt Lake County Peer Mentor
Report: Snapchat ad revenues to reach almost $1 billion in 2017; by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa); September 6, 2016
Snapchat’s Rumored Augmented Glasses Could be One Step Closer to Reality; BY RAYMOND WONG; September 6, 2016

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Afterschool Programs from a Volunteer’s Perspective

Authored by: Alexa Hernandez, Teen Volunteer at Copper Hills Elementary

I started volunteering at the Afterschool Program at Copper Hills Elementary at the beginning of last year. When I first started going there, I saw all these little kids who were each so different but somehow alike. Slowly, each one of them won a place in my heart. I care about each and every one of these kids and I would be willing to do anything for them. I don’t really think we notice how such small things can have such a huge impact.

Homework Time

We started every day in the Afterschool Program with homework time, which is one of my favorite things to do with the kids. We have teachers who work one-on-one with, as well as youth leaders and an afterschool coordinator. As a volunteer, I’m responsible for helping kids with their homework. It really touches you to know you helped little kids understand their homework and helped expanding their knowledge.

summer programs for teens salt lake city

Snack Time

After homework we have snack. It gives a chance for all our kids get to socialize—and the snacks are pretty good if you ask me. After snack we have a variety of clubs and enrichment activities. Last year at Copper Hills, we had community service, martial arts, arts and crafts. Not only do the kids enjoy each and every one of these, but the classes also taught them important skills. They learned how to perform good deeds and care about our environment and the people. The community service club performed a variety of tasks, such as picking up the garbage around the school, making dog toys to donate to an animal shelter, and painting toys in order to give them to a preschool. Arts and crafts allowed them to use their imagination in new ways, and martial arts taught them safety and protection. Not only do we have homework help and enrichment activities, but we also have field trips that the kids, workers and volunteers really enjoy.

Before I started volunteering at the Afterschool Program, I didn’t realize how important it was. I really do think that it impacts the lives of our kids. I think we have to give credit to our lovely coordinators, who do everything they can to provide the best learning experience and make the children, workers and volunteers feel like a team. It’s a family where we all have each other’s back. The program has not only impacted me, but also the lives of the kids. I’m truly grateful to be able to be a part of it.

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Youth Services Employee Relations Committee is improving our workplace

Authored by: David Christensen, Group Home Therapist

The Youth Services Employee Relations Committee (ERC) was started several years ago to improve employee morale.  The committee provides a means for giving feedback from staff to administration about concerns and areas for improvement in the Division.  The current committee is comprised of ten employees that work in various areas of the Division including Clinical, Milestone, After-school, Family Resource Facilitation, Shelter Care, Prevention and Fiscal.

The committee has been focusing on several issues related to employee morale, namely hiring and promoting practices and employee training.  The committee talks to employees in their respective areas, discusses concerns in the meetings and feedback is prepared for administration.   During the last year, the committee has given two proposals to administration regarding hiring and promoting and employee training.  Both of the proposals were well received by management and are in the beginning stages of implementation.  We encourage active staff to be active in making the Division a great place to work.  There are many ways that you can get involved including providing feedback to the committee, becoming a member or making your work environment a positive, engaging place.  If you are interested in becoming part of the committee please contact David Christensen at or 84522.

The committee members are as follows:

• Jack Burbidge – Christmas BoxIMG_0351
• Janae Briggs – Prevention
• Bel Villa – After-school
• Caitlin Adams – Milestone
• David Christensen – Clinical/shelter
• Jeanene Randall – Fiscal
• Margaret Laforett  – Reception
• Lauren Greco – Family Resource Facilitation
• Desiree Steadman-Gallegos – Clinical
• Erin Dixon – Shelter supervisor

We hope that more staff people joins the committee as it is a great opportunity to be engaged in the development and continuous improvement of our work place.

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Are you prepared for an emergency?

Emergencies are unknown. They can come anytime and can strike us at any place. We have been witnessing tornado outbreaks, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and power outages that impact communities for days at a time. In fact, Louisiana is barely recovering from the historic flood that they had back in August and just early this month we heard about the powerful earthquake that rattled Oklahoma. The question to ask is: would you be ready if there were an emergency?

Surprisingly, most of Americans are not. Actually, Citizen Corps National Survey (2009) revealed that only 57% of Americans have supplies for disasters, and only 44% have a household emergency plan.

National Preparedness Month was stated in 2004 and now is observed each September in the United States of America. This initiative is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in order to encourage Americans to be ready when an emergency strikes. No matter if it is a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, and no matter is its at home, working or at school: everybody should be prepared.

As emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere, there is important steps you can take to be equipped. Here are a few ideas:strengthening-families

• Put together an emergency kit. Stock water, flashlights, a portable radio and a fire extinguisher. Buy or create a first aid kit. Store water and non-perishable foods that will last at least for 3 days.
• Develop or update a family plan.
• Stay informed about the different emergencies that may affect your area of residence.
• Get trained and become engaged in community preparedness and response efforts.
• Store things that matter most. Family documents are essential. Gather birth certificates, insurance papers and mortgage documents. Keep some cash on hand. Then store everything in one convenient place.
• Locate where the utility connections are and learn how to shut off the gas, electricity and water if necessary.
• Choose an out-of-the-area friend or relative to be a contact person.
• Ensure your vehicle is in working order and always has gas.
• At work, learn your company’s emergency plan and practice it.
• Parents should keep contact information and learn the school’s disaster plan.

You need to be ready and the time to prepare is now. We encourage you and your family to be cautious, because recommendations like these may help save lives!

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Going back to school can be an enjoyable experience

Authored by: Joyce Robison, Counseling Services at Salt Lake County Youth Services

Back to school can be difficult.  Here is how to take the burden off.

Actually, Wikihow  ( and  has some great ideas on how to make school an enjoyable experience for students.

As the website states:

 “Going to school day after day can get boring after a while. Sometimes you need some inspiration to make going to school fun again. By connecting to your school through clubs and activities, socializing with friends, and making sure you’re prepared every day, you can have fun at school again.”


Think of it this way:  instead of just going to school, you should really get involved in school. There are plenty of options available:  extra-curricular activities, clubs, sports, music or drama lessons. What is most important is to find an activity that you find interesting and that you will really enjoy. Make school not just a learning experience, but a place of personal growth.
 “School doesn’t have to be a prison. Whether you find school difficult, boring, or just plain stressful, you can learn to make school easier and a lot more fun. Learn some concrete strategies for making school easier, making friends and keeping it fun.”

Here are some ideas:

1. Join a club
2. Participate in fine arts. (Music, chorus, drama, art, marching band, and concert band)
3. Play on a sports team
4. Participate in school-sponsored activities ( school dances, pep rallies, homecoming activities, festivals)

This is the time to enjoy learning and experiencing new ideas.  Do all you can to make it and enjoy your youth!

You have all the opportunities available, do not let them slip through your fingers.

“Sometimes we’re all too quick to count down the days that we forget to make the days count.”(unknown)

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Programas después de la escuela en el Condado de Salt Lake

Authored by Nefily Ledezma, Youth Services Crisis Counseling Services

La división de servicios para los jóvenes (Division of Youth Services) del condado de Salt Lake, está aquí para ayudarle a usted y a su familia. Esta semana abarcamos el programa de actividades para después de la escuela (Afterschool Program). El programa está diseñado para suministrar un lugar seguro para los adolescentes, proveer el ejemplo de adultos que son buenos modelos a seguir e incrementar la confianza que los jóvenes tienen en sí mismos, a través de actividades divertidas.summer_kids_

Afterschool Program: El programa para después de la escuela actualmente se ofrece en Kearns, West Valley, y Magna. Los estudiantes pueden participar una vez los padres hayan firmado los formularios de registro. Las actividades recreativas incluyen: danza, multimedia, clases de DJ, deportes, servicio comunitario y ayuda con sus tareas.

Si usted tiene preguntas o quisiera saber más acerca de este o cualquier otro servicio que proporcionamos, contáctenos en cualquiera de nuestras dos localidades. New-Safe-Place-logo-2012

Sede Principal:
177 W Price Avenue (3610 S)
South Salt Lake, UT 84115
Horas: 24/7
Teléfono: 385-468-4500


Sede en Riverton:
1262 W 12700 S
Riverton, UT 84065
Horas: Lunes a Viernes, 8 AM to 6 PM
Teléfono: 385-468-4610

No se le olvide regresar a revisar este sitio Web. Nuestro siguiente artículo describirá otros programas a los que usted podrá tener acceso por medio de la división de servicios para los jóvenes.


Posted in After School Program, Bully, Communication Tips, Safe Place, SLCO, Teen Counseling, therapist, Truancy, Youth Groups | Leave a comment