It’s uncomfortable to talk about suicide with kids, to think that they might be hurting so badly that they’re contemplating taking their life. Most parents would rather bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is just fine, than attempt a conversation about suicide.
But here’s the reality: The suicide rate in 10-24 year olds is climbing rapidly in the United States.
Many parents don’t know what to do about this and believe erroneously that if they address what’s happening, they may be introducing the idea of suicide to a child.
Research shows that’s not true.
These conversations are so necessary and important. We need to show kids that we can handle hard conversations, we can be trusted and we can listen with empathy. Our kids need us to show up and shut up. Just listen.
Although this podcast is focused in Arizona, the advice is relevant for everywhere.
Here are the highlights:
- Say “Thank you “. Thank a person who trusts you enough to talk to you about feeling suicidal. Before problem solving, before offering resources, before anything, thank them.
- Believe them and believe in them. Don’t try to deny what they’re feeling or tell them it’s not so bad. It is. It’s bad. Arguing won’t help.
- Let them know “You’re not alone”. Feeling like you want to escape sadness and pain is a normal human experience. Let them know there is help to find other ways to lessen the pain, cope with the pain.
- Together you can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800 273 8255 or use the text number at 741741.
Parents, it’s scary to think about a child taking their own life. Get training on how to handle these conversations, the questions to ask, the warning signs, so that you can help your community prevent a crisis.
**save the text number 741741 and hotline number 800 273 8255 in your phone contacts**