The second leading cause of death for ages 10-24 is suicide. Knowing what to do when you child starts to show signs or makes the statement “they don’t want to be here anymore” and “I want to kill myself” can help you and your child.
The first thing that you should do is take a deep breathe. You have to be in control of your emotions before you can talk to your child. Hearing your child make a statement like that, can be difficult to hear. So take a little bit of time to take inventory of your feels so that you are able to help your child.
The second thing that you want to do is be able to talk to your child about how they are feeling. Be careful not to insert your feelings. Be calm, listen and reassure your child. It can be a scary thing to tell someone that you feel that way, so stay calm, understanding and validate their feels and that you are there to help them in every way that you can. While talking with them, see if they have a plan of how they would hurt themselves and if something has happened to make them feel that way.
The third thing to do is to find a mental health professional that would be a good match for your child. You can talk with their school guidance counselor, child’s doctor, or psychologist at their school. If your child has a specific plan it is important to have them evaluated. You can take them to your local emergency room or to a community mental health agency to have them evaluated. You can take them to your local community mental health center or to the emergency room. If you’re worried or something does not feel right or that you think that your child will attempt or have attempted suicide the call 911. Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are serious and is an emergency situation.
Once you have found a mental health professional that you and your child are comfortable with, be an active participant. Let your child know that they are important and that you support them.