Trust your gut feeling about your child’s welfare especially when your concerns are surrounding their mental health. For more information on help for parents with troubled teens visit helpguide.org.
When your concerns are more serious and you are worried that your teen may be considering suicide, educating yourself on what to look for is the first step in prevention. Most teens who consider suicide do not want to die; they just want a way to end the pain. It is important as a parent to be knowledgeable about the warning signs and risk factors for suicide so that you can recognize when your teen and/or their friends are in trouble. Knowing the signs can help you recognize the difference between the typical problems and those that you need to take more seriously. Suicide is 100% preventable. If those involved with the “at risk” child are able to recognize the clues before they take action, lives can be saved.
Be sure to review the warning signs and risk factors so you know what to look for in your teen and their friends.
If you know a teen who may be thinking about suicide, visit the resources page so that you know how to approach the situation. If you are unsure of your next steps, Teen Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you.
As a parent, you know that connecting your teen with resources for their health and well-being is so very important. It is normal for teens not to confide 100% of the time to their parents. Helping them identify people they can turn to for support when they might not turn to you is critical. Without setting up these connections with your teen, they may turn to someone or something that is destructive. If, however, they won’t turn to an adult, they deserve a safe place to connect to teens that can help.
That place is Teen Lifeline.
You can always suggest that your child and/or their friends call the hotline for help. You can explain that they can call if they are feeling alone and need to talk to someone who can really understand what they are going through because they are teens too. Sometimes just having the hotline number posted someplace visible can be a silent invitation to call.
As a parent, you can feel secure knowing that the teen Peer Counselors receive extensive training and are always supervised by a Master’s level clinician. In addition, Teen Lifeline’s crisis hotline is accredited by the American Association of Suicidology attesting to the high level of service provided.
Bottom line, parenting a teen can be difficult and challenging. For more information on surviving the teen years visit kidshealth.org. You can also learn a variety of information on our topics pages including suicide/depression, relationships and bullying.
We are here to listen and help.
Maricopa County, AZ: 602-248-8336 (TEEN)
Statewide in Arizona: 800-248-8336 (TEEN)