Talk to Your Kids about Suicide
All available data shows that talking to your children lowers the risk of suicide, and that talking to them about suicide does not put thoughts or ideas into their head. When you talk to them, you give them the message that suicide is never an option and that help is always available. Kids lack maturity, and they tend to make small things into huge, enormously emotional, consuming issues. Never minimize anything your child is going through emotionally, as this will only add to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Take all of your child's concerns seriously and be available and approachable to discuss and troubleshoot issues with them. When issues are too big for you, it may be time to turn to a counselor, coach, clergy member, or doctor.
Be direct in communication with your child. If you hear your child mention death or indicate wanting to die, you need to ask them pointedly, “I've heard you mention wanting to be dead. Are you having thoughts about trying to kill or harm yourself?” If you feel that your child is thinking about suicide, always and without any hesitation get help immediately. Call your doctor, who can refer you to the appropriate help — a psychologist or psychiatrist. Call your local hospital and speak to the department of psychiatry, who will also direct you to the right source for help. Local mental-health associations and county medical societies will also give you proper referrals.