How to Approach the Uncomfortable, Vital Topic of Child Suicide Prevention

It’s difficult to think about anyone ending his or her life – and it’s even more disturbing when the suicide victim is a child or teen. For many parents, the idea of their child committing suicide is so painful and terrifying that they avoid the topic. They don’t think about it, so they may not be in a position to prevent it. According to child mental health experts, it’s important for parents to know the information and the signs of suicide risk, so they can take action if their child or teen exhibits at-risk behaviours.

The Scope of Suicidal Patterns

Individuals commit suicide for a broad range of reasons. There’s no “one size fits all” pattern of thought or rationale. Suicide is a complex issue that can be caused by many different factors according to Jill Harkavy-Friedman, vice president for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. That’s why it’s so important for parents to be aware of all the risk factors, behaviours, and triggers.

Risk Factors

A variety of events or experiences can put teens and kids at risk for suicide. Some may experience physical triggers like chronic pain or head trauma. Others may suffer abuse or bullying, or they may be under too much stress and pressure to perform in school or reach a certain level of achievement. Addiction plays a role in some cases, and in other situations, there may be a family history of mental illness.

Red Flags

Parents should be on the lookout for “red flags”— unusual or dramatic behaviours and off-hand comments that are actually packed with pain and meaning. If a child says “You’d be better off without me” or “No one would miss me” or “I’m just tired of it all. I want it all to stop,” those can be significant comments that show a deeper problem.

Appetite changes, like eating too much or too little, are common signs of depression in Singapore. Watch for changes in sleep patterns, too; depressed children or teens often sleep for hours, or suffer from insomnia. Other depression sufferers spend as much time as possible shut away in their room or in some other private space. They seem to lose all interest in friends, family, and activities that they once enjoyed.

Speaking Out

As soon as the red flags are spotted or the risk factors come to light, parents need to intervene. Instead of pretending that the problem doesn’t exist, parents should approach their children with kindness, love, and acceptance. Affirmation, hope, and genuine care can go a long way toward drawing young people out of their suicidal thoughts; but getting professional mental health care in Singapore is the most important aspect of recovery. A suicidal child or teen needs the help of a trained psychologist or psychiatrist in Singapore in order to deal with the traumas or triggers that drove him or her to this point.

Reaching for Help

Do you suspect that your son, daughter, niece, or nephew may be suicidal? You can call Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic and talk to one of our trained staff about your concerns. We’ll set up an initial evaluation for your child or teen, where our expert clinicians can see where the young person is emotionally and mentally. We also offer a variety of therapies and solutions for young people struggling with trauma, disorders, stress, and depression in Singapore. Don’t wait to take action— seek help right away at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic – Psychiatrists and Psychologists for Mental Health in Singapore!

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Source: The Straits Times