If your child is showing warning signs or they are talking about harming themselves, it’s important to take immediate action. Even if you are unsure if what you’re seeing are warning signs, seek help. The stakes are too high. Keep a close eye on them. If they are in immediate danger, take them to the emergency room for evaluation.
You can find help by contacting your child’s school counselor or pediatrician, who can recommend a mental health evaluation along with providers who specialize in youth mental health. A mental health provider can help your teen create a safety plan that serves as a personalized guide for what to do when they are feeling overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts. Keep the lines of communication open with your child, and don’t stop trying to get them to open up about what they are feeling or experiencing. Respond with compassion and empathy, and let them know they are not alone.
Encourage your teen to reconnect with friends, volunteer in the community, or start an exercise routine. Exercise is a natural mood booster and can help pull kids out of depression. Reduce access to lethal means of self-harm for anyone at risk of suicide by securing or removing firearms and medications.
Download the Suicide Awareness resource sheet and share it with friends and others in your community. Keep the following numbers in a visible place. These resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help kids through those moments when they feel all hope is lost.