Many parents ask me about what to do if their child is suicidal. The concern is worrying more parents with the recent suicides of survivors involved in mass shootings. The idea is very scary especially because we do not discuss mental health issues in our society. However, suicide rates are at an epidemic level for children ages 10 to 18 years old. In fact it is the third leading cause of death for children ages 10 to 18 years old.
A successful suicide attempt is definitely a tragedy for the entire family. However, an unsuccessful attempt can be a tragedy for the child and the family. Depending on the method used, a child who has an unsuccessful attempt may have to live the entire life with major medical complications. They can cause brain damage which may cause them to lose the ability to speak or the ability to breath on their own. Therefore, they may spend the rest of their life on a ventilator. Guns are one of the main three ways teenagers attempt suicide. However, teenagers forget that guns have a kick when they are fired. Many teens who use a gun do not kill themselves, but they do shoot off their face. The result is they have to have numerous surgeries to reconstruct their face, but their face and life are never the same.
I read this very good article describing what to do if you think your child is suicidal. It provides the steps you need to take in a non-threatening manner. It also addresses issues parents often may not think about, if they are concerned about their child being suicidal. The most important step is don’t be afraid to ask your child if they are feeling suicidal. It is a myth that if you ask someone if they are suicidal that you will cause them to become suicidal. In fact, you may save their life by asking them if they are suicidal. By asking you let them know it’s ok to talk about their feelings. Also by asking you reassure them there is nothing wrong with them and that you are emotionally strong enough to cope with the situation. Therefore, you may save their life by asking.
I have included the link to this article and I encourage parents to read it and to save it. What to Do if You’re Worried About Suicide |. https://childmind.org/article/youre-worried-suicide/#.W9PRyfwKel8.twitter.
Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience treating suicidal children and teenagers. For more information on his work or private practice visit his website http://www.RubinoCounseling.com or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/drrubino3.