Suicide Prevention

 

We understand that suicide can be a difficult disscussion with your child, but here are some tips to make it easier and some ways to help.

 

  • How to Recognize a Potential Suicidal Individual

    • Poor self concept

    • Ususally an antisocial isolate. They are introverted and become withdrawn

    • Excessive use of alcohol or other drugs

    • Change in habits or appearance

    • Gives away prized possessions

    • Poor communications with family and friends

    • A history of prior acts of suicide

  • What to Look for

    • Previous attempts

    • Scratching or superficial cutting of the body

    • Themes of death or depression in writing, art, talk

    • Verbalization of intentions

    • Discord in the home

    • Sudden decline of academix performance

    • Sudden loss of interest in things once passionate about

    • Acute personality changes

    • Statements like "I'd be better off dead," "Nothing matters," "I won't be a bother to you much longer."

    • Feelings of hopelessness and depression

  • How We Can Help

    • Be a good listener

    • Evaluate the individual

    • Don't suggest they go do it

    • Accept every feeling the person expresses 

    • Don't be afraid to ask them directly 

    • Beware of fast recoveries

    • Be supportive and affimative

    • Seek further consultation

    • Help the person realize that a completed suicide is irreversible 

    • Never leave the person alone in an acute crisis

  • Suicide Assessment - SLAP

    • S - How SPECIFIC is the plan

    • L - How LETHAL is the proposed method

    • A - Have they ACQUIRED the means or how AVAILABLE are the means

    • P - What is the PROXIMITY of helping resources and where does the person plans to attempt

  • Prevention Tips

    • Remove guns from the home. Teens are likely to act on impulse.

    • Early detection of substance abuse

    • Family therapy for families experiencing multiple stressors

    • Upon signs of depression - get a professional evaluation

    • Listen, listen, listen

  • Ways to Support a Depressed Family Member

    • Try to maintain as normal a relationship as possible

    • Acknowledge that the person is suffereing

    • Don't expect the person to snap out of it

    • Encourage efforts to get treatment and get better

    • Express affection, offer kind words, pay compliments

    • Show that you value and respect the person

    • Help keep the person an active, bust family member

    • Don't pick on, criticize or blame the person for his/her depressed behavior

    • Don't say or do anything you think might worsen the person's poor self image

    • Take any talk of suicide seriously and notify the person's health caretaker immediately

  • How Parents Can Turn Things Around

    • Bury the hatchet

    • Stop trying to run their lives

    • Don't deny your cooperation

    • Let them experience the consequences of their actions

    • Give them choices

    • Don't protray that you were a perfect teen

    • Let them know that you are there for them

    • There is hope!

  • What Adults Can Do

    • Smile at every child and adolescents you see

    • When your children's friends come to your home, greet them, make them feel welcome, pop popcorn, invite them for dinner, etc.

    • Regularly do things with your children, including projects around the house, recreational activities, and services projects

    • Model and talk about your own values and priorities

 

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