Parents play an important role in supporting their child. During adolescence, children begin to share less with their parents and teachers, and confide in their peers about problems they face. It is important that parents are aware of risk and protective factors regarding suicide.
If you believe your child is experiencing thoughts of suicide, it is important to address the issue directly:
- Ask your child, “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?”
- Be empathic towards your child with his or her answer. Let them know you are there for them.
- Provide support to your child considering suicide by taking them to the emergency room for an evaluation.
- Provide ongoing support through mental health counseling either through the school or in the community so your child can receive help with their suicidal thoughts.
- Get support for yourself by seeking out counseling or parent support groups.
- Familiarize yourself with the warning signs and protective factors around suicide.
- Be aware of community resources that specialize in assisting youth with thoughts of suicide.