Suicide in Ohio: Conversations

The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation has partnered with Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS), VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and others to create these four-part video series on suicide prevention. These videos will give a closer look into the mental health crisis and impact it has on our state. We are hoping these personal stories will help raise awareness and prevent future deaths. We will also discuss the effects COVID-19 has had on Ohioans, and ways to get help if you are struggling.

Please help us share out these videos to your local communities, papers, and partners to keep the conversation going.

Click here for more informnation.

How to Hack Stress!!!!!!!

Who likes stress?

If I were to poll our readers right now, I am certain that not a single one of you would pick the option: “Yes, I love being stressed out.”

I mean, how could you? We’ve all heard that stress makes you sick, stress is bad for your health, stress is linked to insomnia… the list goes on and on.

I start to cringe at even the thought of this dreaded 6-letter word, so today, I am here to teach you how to hack stress. We found 6 simple tips to make stress your friend instead of the enemy. Yes, I know this sounds a little crazy. Stay with me, science is on our side.

But first, Kelly McGonigal’s “How to Make Stress Your Friend” TED Talk offers an eye-opening perspective on how stress affects us, and how to use it to our advantage… here to read more!

Crisis Text Line –

Your best friend. Your dad. That lady down the street. That quiet kid in school. That loud kid in school. That dude in accounting. Your cousin in Alaska. That hipster in the flannel in Brooklyn. That rando who might lurk online. Crisis Text Line is for everyone.

Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.

Ohio is making it easier for individuals who are experiencing a stressful situation to find immediate help, 24/7 with the launch of a free, confidential, statewide Crisis Text Line. Starting today, any Ohio resident who needs help coping with a crisis can now text the keyword “4hope” to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor. Trained crisis counselors are on stand-by to provide a personal response and information on a range of issues, including: suicidal thoughts, bullying, depression, self-harm, and more. The specialist helps the user stay safe and healthy with effective, secure support. The keyword “4hope” was developed by the Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (StarkMHAR) board, which piloted a crisis text line for youth and young adults as part of the Strong Families, Safe Communities funding initiative supported by OhioMHAS and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities.

Our Principles

  1. We fight for the texter. Our first priority is helping people move from a hot moment to a cool calm, guiding you to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. YOU = our priority.
  2. We believe data science and technology make us faster and more accurate. See our Founder’s TED talk for more scoop on how we’re using this stuff. While we love data science and technology, we don’t think robots make great Crisis Counselors. Instead, we use this stuff to make us faster and more accurate–but every text is viewed by a human.
  3. We believe in open collaboration. We share our learnings in newsletters, at conferences and on social media. And, we’ve opened our data to help fuel other people’s work.



A: No, our specialists do not counsel, but rather practice active listening to help texters move from a hot moment to a cool calm.


A: Active listening is when someone communicates in a way that is empathetic, understanding, and respectful. It includes focus on the texter and thoughtful answers.


A: Crisis Text Line is not a replacement for therapy. Therapy includes a diagnosis made by a doctor, a treatment plan of action, and a patient/therapist relationship. Crisis Text Line helps people in moments of crisis. Our crisis counselors practice active listening to help our texters find calm and create an action plan for themselves to continue to feel better. Crisis Text Line’s crisis counselors are not therapists.


A: We were founded by our CEO, Nancy Lublin. After seeing a need for the service we provide, Nancy hired a team to build what is our current platform. The original team included a data scientist and an engineer. Hear our story here.

The Things Adults Say That Hurt Instead of Help

Going back to school is an exciting time for kids and teens, but it can also be a stressful time.

There’s not just the stress of fitting in and getting good grades. But, also the threat of bullying that can threaten students’ emotional and physical safety at school.

Sometimes this stress can even turn into a mental health disorder. In fact, as many as 12 million young people are diagnosed with a mental health disorder in a given year.

Mental Health America (MHA) is working to lower that number and keep kids mentally healthier this school year. Our revolutionary online screening program provides one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether your child, student, or friend is experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

The Parent Screen is for parents of young people to determine if their child’s emotions, attention, or behaviors might be signs of a problem. Our Youth Screen is for young people (age 11-17) who are concerned that their emotions, attention, or behaviors might be a sign of a problem.

Mental health disorders in children are treatable. The early identification, diagnosis, and treatment that MHA advocates can help more kids reach their full potential this school year—and beyond!  Click here to be redirected to the MHA website containing this information.

The Risk of Addiction in the Transgender Community: Embracing Your Identity While Coping with Addiction

The transgender community faces extraordinary challenges. Struggling with the internal gender identity battle seems challenging enough, but after you’ve come to terms with your gender identity and decided to live as your authentic self, you may face discrimination, judgment, and even violence.  To read further, visit:

10 Ways to Try to Prevent Drug Addiction in Your Child

Almost weekly now, we hear the sad news of another teen death from an accidental overdose. We know personally the pain of addiction. Addiction is a disease based on biochemical abnormalities, and it should be treated as a disease, not a crime. The epidemic is a combination of biochemical abnormalities, potency of the drug available, the collapse of the family unit and lack of education.

Prevention is much easier than treating the addiction. Waiting to educate your child about drugs until they are 13 or 14 years old is too late. In our experience, many addicted teens started using alcohol at age 9 or 10, then went to more potent drugs. Teaching children to absolutely fear taking drugs, other than medicinally, with permission of a parent, needs to start as young as 5 or 6 years old. Keep it simple for young kids, but be serious. Bend down and look into their eyes when you mean business. You might say, “Never ever take a pill or any medicine from anyone, not even a friend, no matter what they tell you. You can become addicted! You could die!” Does the child know what that means? Probably not yet, but they know the tone of your voice and the energy of your words. As they get older, you can discuss more extensively.

Based on our experience treating 400 opiate addicted teens, we recommend the following 10 tips to try to prevent drug addiction in your child:

1. Be supportive.

This is especially true before a child has a problem. Try to support everything positive in your child’s life—good grades, being great at a sport or hobby, helping out a friend or relative—make sure they know you notice the positives! This reinforces the concept of positive behaviors leading to positive reinforcement. Don’t rely on teachers, friends or others to support your child’s good behavior. If your child becomes addicted, be supportive of treatment; they’ll work hard at it. Make sure your child knows you will be there rewarding sobriety. No enabling! Save rewards like cell phones, clothes, etc., until they’re actually earned.

2. Teach your child negative actions have consequences.

It’s the parents that help build a sense of right and wrong in a child’s brain because they are the most important authority figures for children. Parents ask us all the time what we would do if our child acted out. Our reply is—what would your parents do? It resonates when they realize that they are less strict than their parents were. Keep in mind that being strict is not the same as being “mean.”

3. Randomly drug test if you have any suspicion of drug use.

It’s not mean to drug test an addicted child! But it’s a big mistake to assume that your child “could never” be involved with drugs, or they are “too young.” Drug tests can be bought at discount pharmacies for a relatively small cost. Explain to your child that you are doing this for their well-being, and you will all feel better if it comes back negative. If they say that drug testing them means you don’t trust them, your reply should be that trust is earned! Better safe than sorry, right? Many teens initially protest, but if they realize that drug testing is the way it’s going to be, they’ll likely cooperate. A test is a good way to catch addiction at an early stage; it can also prevent it.

4. Educate yourself about the signs of drug addiction.

Make sure any unusual behavior in your child has an explanation. You are the best observers of unusual behavior, not the school, not your doctor and not other authority figures. If you aren’t sure whether something is a sign of addiction, do a drug test.

5. Be involved in your child’s life.

Become involved in their sports, their hobbies, their interests and at school. Reward the good behavior, and teach the consequences of bad behavior. Trust us, it’s much more fun to be involved in sports and hobbies than to be involved in lawyer visits, court dates and counseling.

6. Don’t assume it couldn’t happen to your family.

Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it cuts across all social and economic levels, races and religions, and it can happen in any family. Since the underlying problem is in most cases biochemical, it can happen to anyone. Believing it can’t possibly happen in your family could be your biggest mistake.

7. Be the best parent you can be.

We’re not perfect, but good parenting is selfless. It’s a balance of rewarding good behavior, teaching the consequences of bad behavior and being involved in your child’s life. Being overprotective, overly punishing, too permissive or absent can only increase the possibilities of a teen who is prone to addiction (because of the biochemical problem that may already exist) becoming addicted.

8. Keep your eyes open for signs of abuse by friends or relatives.

Abused children have a higher risk of addiction. If your child acts strange around a relative or friend or seems to not want to be around them, this could be a danger sign. Abusers usually threaten if silence is broken, so kids won’t tell you. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to how children react around certain people. Abuse doesn’t discriminate either and is pervasive in our society at all levels.

9. Build self-esteem in your child.

Low self-esteem and a biochemical propensity for addiction is a lethal combination. Self-esteem issues are pervasive in addicted teenagers and need to be treated with counseling. Like I said before, be involved in their lives and reward good behaviors. We’re not all born good-looking, smart or with perfect bodies. Some of us have emotional issues and lack social skills. It is up to us as parents to find the good in our children and build on it. Everyone has positive qualities, and it is up to us to bring out their best.

10. NEVER take drugs with your child.

Your child shouldn’t be your friend in the same way you are friends with other adults. It’s true that sometimes a child can be like a friend, but a teenager may find this confusing. They might believe they should be able to do whatever you do, but your respect is on the line! If they become addicted, they’ll likely have issues of anger and guilt and could blame you for a part of their addiction. You, on the other hand, will definitely have issues of guilt and will blame yourself for part of their addiction. We have yet to see a child who did drugs with a parent who in the long run thought it was a positive experience.

Drs. Ron and Cherie Santasiero have more than 60 combined years in medicine. They treat addicted teens by offering integrative care at their practice, The Sedona Holistic Medical Centre, and are authors of “Addicted Kids; Our Lost Generation: An Integrative Approach to Understanding and Treating Addicted Teens.”

Let’s Treat it Together: OPIATE ADDICTION

The concern is spreading about the need for communities to realize that we have an opiate epidemic statewide.  The need for educating ourselves and each other on this topic is paramount in order to combat this disorder.  In an effort to assist with awareness, we would like to share an excellent video that helps explain what addiction is, focusing specifically on opiate addiction, and offers suggestions on how best to treat this substance abuse disorder.  If you have a loved one, a close family member, friend or even know of someone who is currently struggling with this disease, take a moment to watch this video.

Risky Drinking Can Put a Chill on YOUR Summer Fun

The NIAAA developed a fact sheet highlighting the dangers of alcohol use with summer activities, such as swimming and boating, along with driving to vacation destinations.  Take a moment to review the NIAAA website for more information on items such as:  Do you know how much alcohol is really in your drink?  How many calories?  What’s the cost to you per week, month, or year?  Also, find out here with a handy drink calculator, all provided by NIAAA!