My Child/Youth Needs Help | National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide
Suicide Prevention is Everyone's Business
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My Child or Youth Needs Help
You may be concerned about your son or daughter, a student, or another youth. It is important that you recognize the warning signs and risk factors of suicide and know what to do, but first there are things you may want to know.

How could anyone want to die?
Many people are unable to see alternatives to their problems or an end to their pain. Many who consider dying by suicide still want to live: the youth you are concerned about may have mixed feelings about turning thoughts of suicide into a suicidal act. By recognizing his or her risk and getting him or her to help, a life can be saved.

Go ahead and ask.
A youth may hint or joke about suicide, but it is important to take all communications about suicide seriously. It is safe to ask directly, "Are you thinking about killing yourself?" Talking about suicide does not cause suicide. If you have difficulty asking the youth about his or her thoughts, enlist another adult to help you. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and the trained counselors there will help.

Really Listen.
Show your interest and support without judgement. Don't interrupt, and don't give advice. Express concern and tell the youth that together you will find help.

Stay with the youth.
Don't leave a suicidal youth alone. Go with him or her to a mental health professional, hospital emergency room, or his or her primary care physician.

Move lethal means out of harm's way.
If there are firearms, drugs, or other means of suicide in the home, remove them until the crisis has passed. Make anything inaccessible that might be used by the youth in an impulsive moment.

Suicide Prevention Resources for Parents/Guardians/Families
A list of websites and other online information that have prevention resources for parents, guardians, and other family members.

Preventing Suicide: A Tool-Kit for High Schools
Assists high schools and school districts in designing and implementing strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health. Includes tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students.

Safe and Effective Messaging for Suicide Prevention
This document offers evidence-based recommendations for creating safe and effective messages to raise public awareness that suicide is a serious and preventable public health problem.

The Role of High School Mental Health Providers in Preventing Suicide
This information sheet is for mental health staff that the school has designated as being responsible for handling student mental health crisis.

The Role of High School Teachers in Preventing Suicide
An information sheet that helps teachers understand why suicide prevention fits their role as a teacher.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), provides access to trained telephone counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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