Parents & Caregivers Can Help Prevent Youth Suicide
Youth suicide is a serious problem. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among school age youth. In 2013, 17% of our nation’s high school students seriously considered suicide and 8% made an attempt.*
We receive many messages and information about suicide from social media and shows like the Netflix Series 13 Reasons Why which is about to release its second season. It is important that as parents/caregivers or any adult that supports a young person, we understand that we can all help prevent suicide by being aware and taking action. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides risk factors and warning signs as well as strategies on how to protect your child from suicide including the impact of social media and entertainment programming.
Some ideas on ways to begin to talk to your child about suicide*:
- Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your child about mental health and suicide. Ask your child how they’re doing, what’s happening in their world these days, and what their concerns are. It can start simply by asking, “Are you okay?”
- Share with them that suicide is never a solution. It is an irreversible choice regarding a temporary problem. There is help. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or know someone who is, talk to a trusted adult, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text to 741741.
- Encourage your child to be an “upstander” and take actions to reduce bullying and increase positive connections among others. Report concerns.
- Remember suicide is preventable. People considering suicide typically say something or do something that is a warning sign. Always take warning signs seriously and know the warning signs.
If you would like to learn more about the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, sign up for one of our Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Trainings. YMHFA Training is an 8-hour certification course intended for adults to learn how to help young people who may be experiencing mental health challenges or crises – CPR for mental health.
Reserve your seat now – simply click on the training you would like to attend and complete the easy online registration form. If you have questions about Youth Mental Health First Aid, contact Jacqueline Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 752-3353.
Upcoming SCUSD Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings:www.afsp.org and National Association of School Psychologist at www.nasponline.org.