Suicidal Ideation

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is among the top five leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, suicide is the second main cause of death for 15-24-year-olds. Today, many parents are seeking help for suicidal teens.

Following are things that parents should be aware of regarding teens and suicidal tendencies.

Be aware of the warning signs

When it comes to help for suicidal teens, being aware of the warning signs is vital. Parents should be aware if their teen has extended depressed moods, lack of communication with family members, or excessive withdrawn behavior. Parents should also notice changes in their teens eating or sleeping habits. Also, if their teen makes comments about death or how life isn’t worth living, parents should see these as major red flags.

Another way parents can offer help for suicidal teens is taking preventative measures. By ensuring that firearms, weapons, and medications are safely locked away, makes it difficult for teens to access some of the major causes of suicides.

Know how to react to a suicidal teen

When a teen is expressing the aforementioned suicidal thoughts or behaviors, many parents aren’t sure how to react. It is important in offering help for suicidal teens, to not underreact. Some parents may think that their teens closed off behavior or depressed comments may just be adolescent drama that will blow over in time. However, parents who ignore or discount these teen behaviors may be ignoring the signs that will allow them to offer help. 

On the flip side, it is important for parents not to overreact when trying to offer help for suicidal teens.  It is important for them to listen empathetically and to try to understand what their teen is feeling. 

Help for suicidal teens in both the short and long term

For teens struggling with suicidal thoughts and tendencies, it is important to get them the help they need as soon as possible. Teens struggling with suicidal tendencies have found it beneficial to receive professional help from a counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. In some cases, a teens’ emotions may be connected to a mental chemical imbalance that can be treated with medication. After initial meetings with a mental/emotional health professional, it is important for help for suicidal teens to continue.  Parents should always keep looking for ways to offer their teen the emotional support they need.