Talking — directly, non-judgmentally, and with compassion — with a child about suicide can make a real difference to their safety and well-being.
It’s OK to acknowledge that this is a tough subject: “You know, I never thought this was something I’d be talking with you about, but I think it’s really important.”
If a child has lost a friend to suicide, they really need your support. The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide has advice on how to help your loved ones, including ways to cope when your child’s friend dies by suicide, preparing your child to attend the funeral of a friend, and ways to help keep your child safe, even when you don’t know for certain what they are thinking and feeling.
Find resources for parents here: www.sptsusa.org/parents.
Also, make sure that the Crisis Text Line number is in your child’s contact list on their phone: 741741. This is a free, confidential resource that people of any age can use to help them in a distressing moment. Sometimes, youngsters need someone to talk to, and even if you and your child have a very strong relationship with open communication, research shows that they may not turn to you when they need to talk about potentially life-threatening concerns. Make sure they have the Crisis Text Line (741741) in their phone, and encourage them to use it — even test it out together to see how it works.
In Lorain County, if anyone is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the hotline at 1-800-888-6161.
Find more resources for parents here: lcbmh.org/helpful-information-for-parents.