A teen taking their life is an absolute tragedy. For a teen to feel this is the only answer imagine the internal struggle they must be going through, the thoughts of hopelessness, depression, isolation. This tragedy traumatizes all left behind whether it be family, friends or the community at large. Questions arise such as how could this have been prevented?
There are some warning signs to look for in your teens:
*Change in behavior or grades
*Verbalization of not wanting to live or that others would be better off without them
If you see any of these signs don’t wait. Get your teen into therapy immediately.
Schools have done a wonderful job with setting up support in school, however many students who are suffering are the “model” student and will not utilize those resources. The teens I work with are excellent students and involved in many activities, their schools have no idea they are suffering or receiving help. These teens are struggling with severe depression and anxiety and are many times overlooked from being at risk.
If your teen is a perfectionist or incredibly hard on themselves therapy should be explored. Parents can approach their teens and suggest therapy. Therapy helps develop coping skills and emotional regulation that last a life time. Everyone has their stuff they need to work through and before they go off to college is an ideal time.
I had a parent ask me once, “How will I know if my teen will commit suicide?” The scary answer is you don’t. There is no guarantee but putting them in therapy is a step to try to prevent it. To parents and the community please be proactive. If you see someone struggling say something and get help.