6 Teen Suicide Resources for Parents
Did you know that teen suicide accounts for thousands of deaths each year? It’s the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24. There are countless reasons for this trend, but the point is that people are dying, and it’s terrifying. That’s especially true for parents who know their child is suicidal.
Understanding the underlying cause is one thing, but feeling powerless to stop it is another. You’ve tried talking about it and even restricting their movements, yet the problem persists. So, what is a loving caretaker supposed to do? These 6 resources should help you out.
The Top 6 Resources for Parents of Suicidal Teens
This is a frightening time for everyone in your family, so finding a feasible solution is a matter of life or death. Don’t waste time trying to figure things out on your own. Use one or more of these proven options instead:
#1. Mobile Apps
If you have a suicidal teen who is often not at home, downloading an app on their smartphone may be the best answer. For example, the Suicide Safe app published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a popular choice. Other options include:
- Jason Foundation: A Friend Asks
- Ask and Prevent Suicide
- Ulster County SPEAK
- Stay Alive
NOTE: Each option is free to download and available for both Android and iOS.
#2. Support Groups
Local support groups can expose your teen to other peers and role models who have dealt with similar issues. They’re also a great source of convenient, discretionary help that’s often free of charge. So, search “best teen support groups near me” to find something that works for your family.
Keep in mind that the ideal group may consist of people from varied backgrounds and experience levels. You may need to chaperone a few meetings to ensure their security, privacy, and comfort. However, your teen should be the one to make the final call unless their health or safety would be in jeopardy otherwise.
#3. Virtual Counseling
There are many variables when raising children, especially in the modern world. With countless obstacles to consider, staying at home may be the smartest decision. If that’s the case, it’s important to think about using online counseling services to support your teen’s mental and emotional development while they struggle with suicidal ideation.
Virtual therapies aren’t just convenient; they’re also affordable for most families. Many platforms even accept health insurance to help cover the cost. Moreover, you can schedule each session around your teen’s to-do lists and moods while getting proactive tips for treating their symptoms in the meantime.
#4. Toll-Free Hotlines
This is one of the oldest and most trusted resources for parents of suicidal teens. That’s because there is someone available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what your child is going through. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline service is also open for family members and friends who struggle to reach their depressed loved ones.
Furthermore, this option offers multilingual support and enhanced services for individuals with hearing and speech impairments. You can chat online as well, with trained experts who can provide information on other resources in your area. Best of all, this one is completely free no matter how much money you make.
#5. Social Media Pages
Social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest often feature specialized groups and/or pages focused on suicide awareness and prevention. Their followers, contributors, influencers, and admins generally work together to inform, protect, and provide for adults and teens who feel suicidal. There are many fringe benefits to joining one.
Search on one of those platforms for a friendly forum that accepts teenagers as members. Help your child make a memorable introduction and encourage daily participation even after their thoughts of suicide go away. The mere act of helping others pull through a similar situation can breed the confidence your teenager needs.
#6. Professional Therapy
Nothing beats consistent counseling with a licensed mental health professional, especially for suicidal ideation or compulsive attempts teens. Often, there’s a hidden cause for their despair. So, an expert helps to gently excavate those issues and then offers effective coping mechanisms for later use.
The compassionate therapists at Elevations RTC, for example, work with individuals, parents, and entire families to uncover and address critical issues. Problems are faced head-on in structured therapy sessions that usually involve personal work and subsequent growth. As a parent, this is a smart option regardless of whether your teen is suicidal or not.
How to Choose the Best Suicide Prevention Method for Your Teen
Choosing the most effective technique is crucial when you’re trying to save a life. So, here’s how to narrow your search:
- Pay attention to your teenager’s behavior to spot any odd changes or unusual habits. Then, tailor your approach to address those things immediately.
- Talk to your teen to find out what’s bothering them the most. Make yourself emotionally available and try not to be judgemental about their problems.
- Let them know you’re open to any suggestions they might have, and remember to follow through on any promises you make.
Your Actions Could Save a Life
It’s your job as a parent to protect your child’s life, especially when it’s being threatened. Whether the issue stems from mental illness or peer pressure, getting the right kind of help is the key.