Posted by: Mom | 2010-02-16

What can I do


How do I talk to my teenager about suicide? When is the right time and what do I say?

Concerned Mom

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen Suicide guest experts

Hi there.

The right time is now! Given that is it teen suicide week, it is the ideal opportunity for you to sit down with her and discuss any concerns and provide information for her.

As mentioned on the SADAG teen suicide programme, talking about suicide does not mean you are planting a seed, or that you are increasing the risk! If anything, talking about it has the opposite effect! You are getting things out in the OPEN and you are providing a valuable opportunity for your child to talk to you about whatever is going on.

It is important to stay calm, non-judgemental and caring. Let her know you want to talk about suicide as it is on the increase, esp. among teens, and you want to be sure she is okay and that she is coping! Let her know you will do whatever it takes to assist her, and carry through with this. If she needs counselling, ensure you are able to get her to the school counsellor, a psychologist or an NGO providing free counselling. If she needs you to go with her, be available to do that. Almost all teens who have attempted or completed a suicide, have displayed some warning signs, and often they have spoken about death or "not wanting to be here". Let your daughter know you want to make sure that it never comes to that, and no matter what is going on in her life, you will be there to listen and support her.

Good luck, and thanks for writing in today!


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