In 2014, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States with 42,773 deaths. With teenage suicide making headlines, it is no wonder that parents everywhere are wondering what they can do to help prevent this tragedy from striking in their home. So as the school year begins, let’s take a look at what you can do to help prevent teen suicide from striking your home.
Know the Facts About Teen Suicide
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Don’t Let Teenage Depression or Anxiety Snowball
Teens often have bad days as they deal with relationships, school, work, and the anxiety about their future, but if your teen has been dealing with a series of “bad days” for more than a few weeks, it could be something more. If your teen has begun to withdrawal from friends or typical activities, it could be a sign of depression. Many teens feel too embarrassed to reveal their unhappiness to others so they tend to hide their emotions. Don’t let a stiff upper lip fool you, ask some questions and get to the bottom of their depression and anxiety.
Don’t Shrug Off Threats
Most research reports that people who openly threaten suicide don’t often intend to take their own lives and that the threat is a plea for help. But this does not mean you should ignore comments your teen is making. If your teen starts writing or making verbal statements like “I want to die,” “Everyone would be better off without me,” or “I don’t care anymore,” it could be a sign that they need help. Never tell your teen “you don’t mean that” or call them “crazy”. It is important to be nonjudgmental and to listen to what they are really saying. React consolingly and like the concerned parent you are.
Seek Professional Help and Share Your Own Feelings
If you are concerned about your teen’s behavior, don’t wait to contact a pediatrician or to contact your local mental health provider like Family Service Foundation for help. Your son or daughter may not like the idea, but starting therapy or counseling will help them learn to understand their feelings and to deal with the problems causing them in a healthy way. If you think your teen is actively suicidal or in danger of self-harm, seek out help at a crisis support center or at your local emergency room. It is also important for you to share your feelings as well. Let them know that everyone gets depressed or feels sad or anxious now and then and that these feelings usually pass with time. Reassure them that the bad times won’t last forever. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 14 and the second leading cause in people ages 15 to 35. If you think your teen is thinking about suicide, it is important to get them the help they need right away. For more information on our counseling services, call Family Service Foundation today.
Welcome to Family Service Foundation, Inc.!
Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilities, visit here. Do you “Follow” and “Like?” Be sure to stay active on our official pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest today!