I am Mary Lee Churchill, and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor at Family Care Center. It is not an easy task for a parent, school official, therapist, or anyone that encounters a child who is struggling with suicidal thoughts. I would like to discuss Suicide Prevention in Adolescents. It is a scary topic for sure, however there are some things that we can look out for. Some kids are at higher risk than others for suicide. Let us look at who is a high risk, and what we can do to be more aware and offer support.
High risk includes:
- Adolescent males who use alcohol and/or drugs
- Adolescents that have depression
- Kids from rigid family backgrounds
- Have experienced a recent loss (a break-up, parents’ divorce, death, etc.)
- Have a misunderstanding of death
- Know a suicide victim
Talking about suicide does not increase the risks.
Here is what we can do to help adolescents with suicide prevention:
- Listen empathetically
- Ask directly about potential suicide
- Break confidentiality in cases of actively suicidal child/or teenager
- Hotlines/Suicide prevention hotlines
- Drug Rehabilitation Therapy
- Talk Therapy
Remember when a kid is contemplating suicide, don’t leave them alone until they are supported by those that are able to help, such as: emergency room personnel or an intake specialist at a facility that specializes in mental health crisis.
Together, by recognizing the risks and supporting the child/or teenager we can prevent suicide.