What Can Parents Do?
Many individuals who attempt or die by suicide have given some type of warning to loved ones ahead of time. It is important for parents to know the warning signs of depression and suicide, so they can offer their son or daughter the help that is needed.
Some parents may feel that their children who say they are going to hurt or kill themselves are "just doing it for attention." It is important to see warning signs as serious, not as "attention-seeking" to be ignored; when individuals in crisis are ignored when seeking help, their risk for self-harm may increase.
Watch and Listen
Closely supervise an individual who is depressed and withdrawn. Understanding how depression might appear in adolescents and young adults is very important; for example, chronic sadness and crying may be absent, and depression may take the form of problems with friends, failing grades, poor sleep, or being cranky and irritable rather than chronic sadness or crying.
It is important to keep the lines of communication open between you and your child; do not be afraid to express your concern, support, and love. If your child confides in you, show that you take those concerns seriously. A fight with a friend might not seem like a big deal to you in the larger scheme of things, but for a young adult it can feel immense and consuming. It is important not to minimize or discount what your college student is going through, as this can increase his or her sense of hopelessness.
If your son or daughter doesn't feel comfortable talking with you, suggest a more neutral person, such as another relative, a clergy member, a coach, a school counselor, or your child's doctor.
ETSU Campus Resources Parents Should Know About:
The Jed Foundation Offers Some Great Resource Guides for Parents:
|Protecting Your Child's Mental Health: What Can Parents Do?||Love is Louder than Bullying: A Bully Discussion and Action Guide for Parents|
The Guide Covers How to Help Your Child: