No parent wants to imagine that their child would think about ending their life or hurting themselves in any way, but the reality is that kids and teens are not immune to severe symptoms of depression like suicidal thoughts. Here’s what parents can do to help prevent these tragedies.
Know the warning signs. Read over the list above and keep it in a safe place.
Ask your child if they are having thoughts about killing themselves. This will not put the idea into their head or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.
Listen without judging and let them know you care about them.
Help your child stay engaged in their usual coping activities. For example, encourage family time and sports.
Stay with them if they’re in crisis or ensure the child is in a private, secure place with another caring adult until you can get further help.
Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. This includes medications, guns, sharp knives, ropes or cords, or cleaning products.
If your child expresses thoughts of wanting to harm themselves or others, call 9-1-1 or visit the nearest Emergency Department.
MHSA Suicide Prevention Line:
(877) 7CRISIS or (877) 727-4747
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis Text Line:
Text “HOME” to 741741
Find a mental health provider
Check your insurance website or the back of your insurance card.
Explore Psychology Today’s “Find a Therapist” tool.
Call CalOptima Behavioral Health (Orange County, CA).
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)