During the time it takes to tape the Dr. Phil show, 180 people in America will attempt suicide. Every 90 minutes, a teenager or young adult dies by suicide. Learn the dos and don'ts of talking to a young adult who may be planning to take his or her life.
Dos and Don'ts for Dealing with Suicide
Dos for Parents
- DO always take suicidal warning signs seriously and respond immediately.
- DO ask kids directly about it and draw them back.
- DO watch your child carefully, if he or she seems depressed and withdrawn.
- DO seek outside help and support for your teen.
- DO educate yourself on childhood and adolescent depressive illnesses and suicide.
- DO assure your child he or she can feel better, that suicidal thoughts are only temporary and that there are people who can help.
- DO know that early intervention is the key to successful treatment for children.
- DO understand that treatment should be a team approach consisting of psychotherapist/ psychiatrist, parents, relatives, etc.
Dos for Teens
- DO take your friend's actions seriously.
- DO encourage your friend to seek professional help.
- DO immediately talk to an adult you trust, if you feel the risk is imminent.
- DO talk with your friend.
- DO ask if the person is thinking about suicide.
- DO listen openly and without judging.
Don'ts for Parents and Teens
- DON'T keep someone's suicidal feelings a secret to protect your relationship. You need help in helping.
- DON'T lecture on the value of life.
- DON'T dare him or her to do it.
- DON'T act shocked. This will put distance between you.
- DON'T try to minimize problems or shame a person into changing his or her mind.
- DON'T give up.
If someone you know is planning to take his or her life, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).