Being a teenager is stressful, and learning how to handle all of life’s changes and the various emotions that come with it can be challenging. Learning to manage those emotions appropriately may not always come naturally. Unfortunately, many teens struggle to cope and may consider suicide as an outlet. As a parent, it’s important that you recognize the signs and take action.
What are the Signs?
- Loss of interest in normal activities, including hobbies and school
- Substance abuse
- Neglecting personal appearance and hygiene
- Obsession with death
- Boredom and lack of motivation
- Voicing feels about wanting to die
- Not responding to praise
- Giving subtle, verbal hints like “If anything happens to me…”
- Gives or throws away important belongings
- Writing a suicidal note or poem
How Should Parents Respond?
Many parents question, “Should I talk about it or no?” Absolutely! We can’t stress the importance of this enough. Approach your teen calmly. Identify the signs you’ve noticed, and ask if they’ve ever had suicidal thoughts. If they say no, let them know that you love them and that if that were ever the case that they could come to you for help. If your teen is in denial and the signs are too prevalent, seek the professional help of a counselor. Should your teen admit that they have had suicidal thoughts, let your teen know that you are there for them and will fight for them while they get help. Then, seek the professional help of doctors and therapists.
If your teen is in need of immediate medical help, don’t hesitate to act. Take them to the ER. If they won’t go willingly, call 911. For preventative purposes, make sure that all weapons and medications in your home are locked away and not accessible to your teen.
How Can Turn-About Ranch Help?
At Turn-About Ranch, we’ve assisted in the professional care of hundreds of teenagers—many of whom have battled suicidal ideation. When your teen comes to our ranch, they’ll be surrounded by a caring and supportive team who are ready to help them out of their mental darkness. They’ll participate in meaningful daily activities that will help them learn about their own self-worth as well as values that can help guide their future.