Support For Parents Of Suicidal Teens

The guilt, fear and anguish parents feel when they know their child is suffering, especially from something emotional that can be so difficult to treat, is immense. When parents come forward to seek help for their teens, they can feel an overwhelming sense of failure knowing that not only may their parenting have contributed to their teens suffering, but they don’t know how to help them as well.

But there is no such thing as a perfect parent in this situation. Your child is facing a crisis, and there are too many variables at work to pinpoint a singular cause. You can’t narrow it down to “that time we fought over a bad grade”, or “too few hugs”. Likewise, finding the perfect response is also impossible. No parent knows what to do in this situation, they are merely getting by the best that they can.

To illustrate this point, we can look at the CDC statistic that states 17% of teens have seriously contemplated suicide at least once in their life. That is a horrific figure, but it shows you that you are not alone. Many parents are facing the same anxieties, frustration and hopelessness you are. They just don’t know where to turn.

Parent Learning Center offers courses that can help you battle this and many other crises. But there are many supplemental resources that can assist both you and your teen as your face this head on.

Suicide Hotlines

Support Groups

There is sadly no winning formula here, and everyone is going to have their own experience as they deal with the ups and downs of this difficult situation. But there are some things to keep in mind moving forward.

Try To Stay Calm

This is one of the most important tips, and yet one of the hardest to achieve. When your teen has shown signs of suicidal ideation, or has attempted suicide, your impulse is naturally going to be to panic. You may become overprotective, even aggressive. Fear can often make us say and do things we regret.

But you have to be a calming influence in your home, and on your child. Your fear might otherwise be misconstrued at anger with your teen, and that can do more harm than good.

Educate Yourself With The Facts

Remaining calm is easier when you have the facts on your side, not the myths. You should know what red flags to watch out for (loss of interest in friends and activities, interrupted sleep patterns, changes in diet or appetite, apathy, signs of self harm, ect.), and be ready to act when you witness them.

You should also know that suicidal ideation is a condition, not a state of mind. Your teen is not choosing to think this way, and they can’t just stop. This is a much deeper psychological issue.

Be Open and Frank With Your Teen, But Also Understanding

Open up to your teenager. Tell them how you feel about what is going on, and how you are afraid. Tell them of what it would do to you to lose them. Let them know that this is a single moment in their life, not the whole of it, and that while it might seem like it will last forever, it is actually something that will get better.

Ask them what you can do to help them, and what they feel they might need. Encourage them to trust you and open up, creating a safe space where they can speak without fear of being judged.

Get Help Yourself

You need help while you are facing this crisis, and you shouldn’t have to feel alone. Go to the above support groups, or find others for parents. Turn to your friends and family. Consider talking to a therapist, who may be able to better guide you along.

This is a difficult process, and you are allowed to struggle. Never forget that.

Turn To Professionals

Suicidal ideation is a serious condition, and a dangerous one. With suicide now the second more common death cause among teens, you have to act. Parent Learning Center can help provide you with trained professionals and resources to assist you in this desperate time.

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