Suicide Risk Factors | National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide among teens within the United States were at a record high level in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There are many hypotheses for why this is, some of which I've discussed in earlier essays, but in honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I wanted to focus on the risk factors for suicide. 

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Teens and Anxiety

The words were hard for the 13-year-old sitting across from me in the counseling room. “I want to, but I can’t” she said in practically a whisper. This academically gifted,  brand new teenager found herself in the grip of anxiety unable to express herself to her family and friends. She couldn’t describe the feelings or any possible causes. She had no idea how to “make” herself say hello to a person passing by in the hall or respond to a teacher. The idea of a sleepover, a prom date, or a school field day was overwhelming. 

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Stop, Collaborate, and Listen.


This is our reaction after the roller coaster that was this past week. From collaborating on a mural with Eve Smith to nearly cancelling our Grand Opening of the Station due to last minute challenges, from early mornings and late nights to the successful ribbon cutting and grand opening, from the announcement of a national campaign to the profile of our Executive Director, Madi Hutson, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette—emotions ran high this week, but ended on the spectacular note. This newsletter was designed to showcase some of the highlights of this past week, but also as an invitation. Momentum is building, but we need you to help sustain that momentum. With your investment, with your partnership, we stand to shift the entire conversation around teens. We are looking to raise $1,000 in monthly donations, can you help us meet our goal? Check out the impact your monthly donation will have via our 2017 Impact Report!

in this together.

nwadg feature.

Lara Jo Hightower recently profiled our Executive Director, Madi Hutson. The profile entitled, "Life experiences lead to empathy" takes a deeply personal and candid look at her life's journey. As Madi put it, "When I took the job, it literally felt like this is what I had been preparing for," she says. "This is the position that everything I've done -- all of my life experiences as a kid and as a teen -- prepared me for."

grand opening.

It's official! The ribbon cutting and grand opening of The Station were a resounding successes. We kicked-off the day with the support of the Springdale Chamber and ended the evening surrounded by our teens, staff, board members, collaborators and partners. We extended gratitude in all directions from the Honorable Judge Stacey Zimmerman to long-standing supporters like Mike and Lea Necessary, from the unveiling of our new van thanks to Peter Main with SWEPCO to The Station's early adopters like Mike Gilbert with the Jones Trust, Anita Scism with Endeavor Foundation, and Melody Timinsky with the United Way.

the gilbert collaboratory.

Mike Gilbert has been a staunch supporter of TASC for many years. "Uncle Mike", as many of us call him, has literally shed blood, sweat, and tears helping bring our vision to life. We named our main gathering space, the "Gilbert Collaboratory," in recognition of his many contributions.

dear adult world.

If you look closely, you may recognize the person on stage. That is Joey Lauren Adams! Joey has worked across film, television, music video and corporate content in various aspects including writing, directing, producing and acting for over 25 years. And now, Joey and the rest of the team at Rockhill Studios is partnering with us on launching a national social campaign, #DearAdultWorld. Our goal is simple, amplify the voice of teens across the world. Stay tuned.

a collaborative mural.

latinx theatre project.

mayor of springdale.

Building up into a crescendo, the week started off with a collaborative mural with Eve Smith from the Arts Center of the Ozarks. The new mural contains themes of collaboration (hexagons/swarm), growth (plants), diversity and inclusion (plants native to different countries represented in Springdale). We had over 10 volunteers contribute to the piece.

Our grand opening kicked off with a preview of the upcoming performance of Scratch That by the Latinx Theatre Project. Incorporating rap, music, comedy, and drama, this exciting group of Northwest Arkansas theatre artists, now in their second season, will reveal insights about what it means to be Latinx in America today. You'll have five chances to see their upcoming production at various sites across NWA.

And finally, we had the honor of hosting Mayor Doug Sprouse. The Mayor spoke about what TASC and The Station will mean for young people in Springdale, Washington County, and beyond.

support teens in across northwest arkansas and beyond.


Tale of Two Tables

“We have a lot of tables at the three different Teen Action and Support Center locations. Almost every room has a table- the ones in the kitchen are used for gathering to eat Doritos and drink Gatorade and Dr. Pepper! One table at the Poplar Street location is where teen moms gather and learn about managing their finances. There are tables for projects and sorting resources.

But there are two really important tables I want to tell you about.

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Parenting Pause #1: Resisting Reality Checks

As I discussed in my previous post, sometimes we just have to pause and take a deep breath when we are in the middle of a conversation with our teenager.


Let's pause now and talk about "reality checking.”


When I was in the 6th grade my English teacher, Ms. Cole, told me I was going to be an author. I don't remember what prompted this. The only thing I do remember is that my young, single, and liberated female teacher thought I had the potential to write things other people would read! I couldn't wait to tell my mom when I got home from school. This could be it- this could be the profession for me!


But when I told my mother, she patted my head and said, "You're probably not going to be an author, sweetie."

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to: Parents from: Teen

Note: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Teen Action and Support Center or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

About this #NativeTeen blog contributor: 


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I think we should dance

Re-thinking Discipline

I am super proud to be part of a team of people who are committed to taking a collaborative and contemporary approach to working with teenagers in our community. For two years, judges, juvenile justice employees, school officials, community program providers, police department employees, and parents have come together to work toward the best systems of care for teens who are having challenges.

Recently in the news we have had side-by-side examples of what kind of discipline works well with teenagers and what kind does not. I am not making any judgments on those who choose one or the other, but I do think it is important that we consider our soon-to-be-adults and the environment and structures they are growing up in. I also want to disclose that I do not have all the details of both situations (few of us do) so I am only commenting on the general situation and not the individuals involved.

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Seeing a Difference

by Kaitlin McAfee

Volunteering for T.A.S.C

I started my community service this year (2015). My earliest memory of service is helping at Autumn’s Reride. Where a leader and I helped clean stalls, as well as feed and water the horses. There’s nothing I haven’t liked about volunteering my hours at T.A.S.C, it’s a good place to volunteer. They give you a lot of variety on the projects you can help on and they try to make the availability work for everyone. I enjoy getting to see the direct difference I make to that person or to the community when I volunteer my hours. Which is the same reason I would personally rather volunteer my hours, when you see the direct impact your work has on someone else, it also impacts your life.

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