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Suicide is preventable. By listening, talking, and acting you could save a life. Suicide rarely happens without warning. It is important to learn these warning signs and what to do if you see any of them in yourself or a friend.
Causes of Suicidal Feelings / Risk Factors
Anyone can feel suicidal for different reasons. The following maybe some reasons:
Click below steps to learn more!
Changes in someone's behavior or personality maybe a sign of having suicidal thoughts. These may include:
The following may suggest that they are thinking about attempting suicide or already have a plan:
Things you may hear:
Youth who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognise the warning signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe.
Reminder: No one should ever agree to keep a youth's suicidal thoughts a secret and instead should tell an appropriate caregiving adults, such as a parent, teacher, or school social worker / counsellor. Parents should seek help from school or community mental health resources as soon as possible. School staff should take the student to a school-employed mental health professional or administrator.
The presence of protective factors can lessen the potential risks of suicidal ideation and behaviors. These include:
Always listen and take them seriously
Arrange to speak to them again
Simple gestures are also beneficial
As a parent or teacher, how can I talk to my child or student about suicidal thoughts?
Talking to your child/student about suicide can be scary and difficult. You may be worried about saying the wrong thing or making the situation worse. Having these worries are very much normal, however, remember that giving your child the space to share how they feel and what they’re struggling with can help.
It is important for you to create a safe space for them and let them know that they have someone they can turn to, as it is often for someone with suicidal thoughts to feel alone in this world. Talking about suicidal thoughts will not increase the risk of them taking action or putting ideas in their heads.
If you suspect your child/student is having suicidal thoughts, ask them directly using clear words like “suicide”, “taking your own life”, rather than using ambiguous terms like “thoughts of hurting yourself” or “having dark thoughts”.
Being direct lets your child/student know that it is okay to talk about it, that they should find someone to talk about it, and that you are a possible person to talk to. Here are some conversation starts you can use:
© 2015, National Association of School Psychologists