Part 2: Suicide Intervention and Prevention

Excerpt from the book “Helping Your Depressed Teenager” by Gerald D. Oster, PhD and Sarah S. Montgomery, MSW

Continues from Part 1.

Parents’ Checklist of Suicide Warning Signs

  • Marked changes in personality.
  • Sudden change in sleeping or eating patterns.
  • Unexplained, significant drop in school or other work responsibilities.
  • Verbal threats of suicide.
  • Loss of interest in usual activities.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Lack of concern about appearance.
  • Lapses of attention and concentration.
  • Dangerous or illegal activities (running away, drug or alcohol abuse).
  • Recent rejection (from friends, clubs).
  • Giving away or throwing away prized possessions.
  • Explosive outbursts.
  • Reading stories or drawing pictures about death.
  • Possession of dangerous weapons.
  • Unexplained cheerfulness after prolonged depression

If your teen is showing several of these signs, it is possible that serious problems are occurring. Attempts at suicide may appear foolish, but they can be deadly. Accidents do happen. Don’t shy away from teenagers just because you think they are trying to get attention. They are trying to get attention and they truly need it. The basic rule in suicide is to DO SOMETHING. It is much better to be wrong in taking action than to not do anything.


2 thoughts on “Part 2: Suicide Intervention and Prevention

  1. Often parents don’t realise that our child/children are needing more than we are giving them. And…as in my case…I wanted my son to be independant and use his own mind, but sometimes we can’t tell where the line is drawn. Parents are human, and we DO make mistakes. I would be surprised if any parent didn’t care that their child was suicidal. It’s a shame that things need to go that far before we see that anything is wrong. Give your parents the opportunity to help you, if you need it. It could turn your life around, and that of the relationship you have with your parents. People do care.

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