Youth Protection Seminar



Hillcrest’s Hope week featured a seminar on how to communicate with teens on January 29. The seminar featured Ted-Talker Dave Kozlowski, booths from several teen resources, and Hillcrest’s own Hope Squad. 

Hillcrest’s hope week’s goal is to raise awareness of teen suicide and prevention, one of the many topics at the seminar. According to Utah’s official health website, Utah’s suicide rate is almost two times as high as the national average. 

“When it comes to the topic of suicide… it is a very serious topic,” Kozlowski said.  

The focus of the presentation was communication because suicide, usually, comes with a feeling of isolation. Some warning signs that a person may be suicidal are they are giving away objects, they seem to be less interested in things and dropping grades. A really interesting topic which he brought up was starting a conversation with a question. 

Kids have grown with their parents asking them to trap questions, questions meaning they are in trouble. So when an adult asks a child a question such as “How was your day?” this makes the teen freak out and be less open. 

So instead of using a question, starting with a statement can make a person trust you some more. People trusting you can help you to learn things that could save their life.

Another issue he addressed is that people often ask for people not to tell anyone else. When a person threatens suicide, it is important to tell someone so they can get proper help. Normal people do not have the resources to help people who are suicidal. It is always better to have a mad friend than a dead one.