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Suicide Prevention Tips for Kids and Teens

March 02, 2015

Our friends at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention developed these tips for kids and teens. Share them with the kids and teens in your life. Empower them to save lives.


1.   Take it seriously, even if your friend brushes it off

    • Suicidal ideation (continual suicidal thoughts) is not typical and reflects a larger problem
2.  An angry friend is better than a dead friend

3.   Ask, listen, tell, if the threat is immediate stay with the person

4.  Bring friend to a trusted adult. If they don’t know what to do or don’t take it seriously find another adult

5.  Be a good listener but remember suicidal ideation reflects a bigger underlying problem such as depression, substance problems, abuse, problem-solving difficulties. You can listen but they need to speak to a professional.

6.  30% of attempters tell someone before, many don’t tell anyone after.

  • When some talks to you, that is the moment for intervention
  • With each suicide attempt, risk of suicide increases
  1. Warning Signs
    • Change in mood- sadness, anxiety, irritability
    • Change in behavior- isolation
    •  Change in sleep
    •  Change in appetite
    • Increase in aggression or impulsiveness
    • Agitation
    • Feeling hopeless, worthless
    • Saying things like “No one will miss me” or “You’ll be better off” (feeling like a burden)
    • Feeling ashamed or humiliated or desperation, as after a break up or test
    • Collecting means
    • Talking about wanting to kill themselves
    •  Drop in grades
    • Risk taking 
    • Giving away prized possessions

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