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15 March 2004

If your friend or child is suicidal

Suicidal thoughts or threats should always be taken seriously and it is important to act immediately. We discuss three steps parents and friends can take to help a suicidal teen.

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Suicidal thoughts or threats should always be taken seriously and it is important to act immediately. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) has the following recommendations:
  • Three steps parents can take:
    • Get your child help (medical or mental health professional)
    • Support your child (listen, avoid undue criticism, remain connected)
    • Become informed (read about suicide in books or on the internet, contact your local support group)
  • Three steps friends can take:
    • Take your friend’s actions seriously
    • Encourage your friend to seek professional help, accompany him/her if necessary
    • Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t be alone in helping your friend.

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