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Stop Teen Suicide: Tips from a therapist: By: Ask Jan

Do you know the warning signs of suicide?
Do you know the warning signs of suicide?
Photo by: Photo Express, Tammy Mobley
 

Stop Teen Suicide

Attention all parents, teachers and caregivers!

Don’t believe the myth “people that talk about suicide don’t kill themselves.” Most people who commit suicide provide warning signs. If you do not know the warning signs for suicide keep reading.  You could save a life.

Teen Suicide is a serious problem and is the third leading cause of death among teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24. Parents need to know the warning signs and act quickly when they see them manifest in their children.

Warning signs of suicide

  • Giving possessions away
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • No longer enjoying activities once enjoyed
  • Talking about suicide
  • Change in eating habits, eating too much or too little
  • Change in sleeping habits, sleeping too much or too little
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Running away
  • Feeling bored much of the time
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Drop in school performance
  • Decline in personal hygiene
  • Complaints about headaches, stomach aches and fatigue
  • Making statements like “I wish I could go to sleep and never wake up, I won’t be around much longer, nothing matters, it is hopeless, I don’t care anymore.

Tips for parents to intervene

  • Call a psychiatrist and if you are unable to reach the doctor or take your child to the nearest emergency room if you have any doubts about your child’s safety.
  • Listen to your teen with interest and ask questions about possible problems.
  • Validate their feelings even if you do not agree-“I understand you are upset.”
  • Ask what you can do to help
  • Talk with the school counselor
  • Remove weapons from the home
  • Lock up prescription medications

The signs of impending suicide are similar to depression. This is a treatable condition. Get your child help immediately if you notice the warning signs discussed in this article. If your child refuses to get help and is under age in the state where you reside then call a local hospital or the police to get information on how you can get help for your child against their will.

If you feel your child is in imminent danger of hurting themselves call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room. 

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