The teenage years are a challenge, particularly when living through COVID. As parents, it is important that we are good listeners and observers with our children. Our teens are struggling with rapid physical growth, hormonal shifts, a new task of developing emotional and physical intimacy, and uncertainty about one’s identity and future. All of the developmental tasks of the teen years can create a lot of pressure if there is not stable support at home.
Teenagers may not admit it, but they crave and value support and advice from their parents. A supportive relationship with your child will help become an early intervention for any chance of completed suicide. Suicide can be prevented, but it takes awareness and open communication.
It is important that parents and family take any suicidal thoughts or threats seriously. Here are some warning signs that your teen may be in danger:
Saying things such as, “I’d be better off dead,” “there is no point to my life,” “It’s hopeless anyway.”
Talking or joking about committing suicide
Feeling more anxious, depressed, irritable, and full of rage
Feeling empty, hopeless, and feeling there is no way out
Giving away important and cherished possessions
Saying goodbye to family and friends and withdrawing from social activities
Googling “ways to commit suicide” or searching on the internet for weapons and ways to kill themselves
Giving up on homework, studying, and losing interest in school and hobbies
Displaying extreme mood swings
Substance use- using drugs or alcohol more often
Eating or sleeping more or less
If you suspect your teenager is suicidal, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. For 24-hours suicide prevention and support call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK