How to talk to your child about suicide

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How to talk to your child about suicide

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:

Also, download this Headspace Sheet about how to talk to young people about suicide

[Other Headspace resources: What is mental health? |  Information for parents and carers]

Watch: It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask Video


In Lorain County, if anyone is experiencing a mental health crisis, call the hotline at 1-800-888-6161.


Things you can do to support the children or teens in your life:

Discover if your teenage child is depressed or anxious.

Take our quick online quiz! This does not replace medical/health intervention, but it can give you a place to start for finding resources.


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.

Talk to your child about all of the digital resources below, and encourage them to download these apps and numbers to their phone. They can use these resources when they are distressed, or to get advice about how to help a friend who is distressed.

Explore these resources:
Crisis Text Line (text 4hope to 741 741) NotOK app
Crisis Text Line (text 4hope to 741 741) Keep your child’s supporters together with the NotOK app Practice having a tough conversation about mental health, with Kognito


Register for the next Mental Health First Aid for Youth training.

It is completely free, and gives you the skills to recognize a child’s need and support them. View upcoming Training Opportunities, or send a request to [email protected].


Learn more about the risk factors for suicide, and find additional resources.

Visit our Suicide Prevention Page.

Find an agency that serves the mental health needs of children and/or teens.

Access our Services Directory. Or, if you want personalized help finding the mental health resources you need, call the Navigator. The non-emergency Navigator helps residents to the right mental health service the first time, while assisting potential clients to overcome obstacles to care. The Lorain County Navigator can help you find the right service: 440-240-7025.

If you or a family member are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 1-800-888-6161.

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