DID YOU KNOW...
Teen suicides have been steadily increasing over recent years?
That the majority of suicides occur in the home?
That approximately 1 in 20 teens have thoughts about suicide with a plan and/or intent?
That over half of parents whose teens are thinking about suicide have no idea?
Suicide does not discriminate based on age, gender, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. It can happen to anyone and in any household. As parents, we must be aware that any child - including our own - can experience suicidal ideation and can move toward the path of suicide attempt. We must be prepared!
SUICIDE WARNINING SIGNS
Talking about or making plans for suicide
Expressing hopelessness about the future
Displaying severe/overwhelming emotional pain or distress
Seeing oneself as a burden to others
Reduced feelings of belonging
Marked changes in behavior - social connections, goals, sleep, emotionality, and even drastically improved mood
IF CONCERNED, ASK!
We cannot wait for our children to come to us. If concerned, note your concerns and ask directly about suicidal thoughts. If your child states that they have these thoughts, ask if they have a plan, as a plan increases imminent risk. It is not a comfortable conversation, but it could save your child's life!
HOW TO RESPOND
Offer validation without judgement or attempts to change their perspective: "I can see that you are hurting. I hear you."
Communicate support: "I am here for you. I love you."
Focus on immediate next steps: "Together let's figure out what to do next."
Finding out our child is having suicidal thoughts is a crisis. You will feel overwhelmed, powerless, and helpless. No one expects you to solve the problem in that moment. It is okay to ask for help (see Resources tab on where to go!).
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