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Responding to Children & Teens Suicidal Thoughts and/or Attempts

Updated: Jun 8, 2019


If you think your child might be at risk for suicide, have them evaluated by a professional. Begin by calling your primary care physician, therapist, psychiatrist, or visit the closest emergency department. In an emergency, call 911.

Always ensure your child does not have access to things that could harm them, such as guns, knives or medications, to name a few.

Create a safety plan with your child by identifying the following:

  1. Warning signs (thoughts, images, mood, situation, behavior) that a crisis may be developing.

  2. Internal coping strategies – Things your child can do to take their mind off their problems without contacting another person (relaxation technique, physical activity).

  3. Healthy people and social settings that provide distraction for your child.

  4. People your child can ask for help.

  5. What needs to be done to make the environment safe for them?

  6. What is one thing they feel is most important and worth living for?

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