3. Things to Watch for : There are some warning signs people can look for to determine if a teenager is contemplating suicide. When a teen is depressed for an extended period of time then suddenly becomes carefree, pay attention. People who have made the decision to kill themselves often feel relieved at the prospect of having a way out, like a heavy burden is lifted. Listen to their words. Kids often say that they are worthless, better off dead, a terrible person or that they are going away when suicide is on their mind. They lose interest in activities that once held great importance and give away items that mean a great deal to them.
4. Speak up: Caregivers or friends of troubled teenagers shouldn’t be afraid to ask uncomfortable questions about suicide. If someone believes that suicide is a possibility, they should find out if the teen has thoughts about killing himself and if he has plans to carry out those thoughts. Help from a professional is warranted anytime someone has persistent concerns about a teen. A family physician can offer a starting point for those seeking professional help and hospitals can provide a list of local psychiatrists.
5. Lock ’em up: Guns are the most common method teens use to commit suicide. Everyone should prevent children’s access to guns by locking them in a separate area from ammunition.
In Florida and Broward County we have Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention. Learn more – be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.
Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information on residential therapy if you suspect your teen needs help.