As parents we are often the first to notice that our child is experiencing emotional distress. You can serve as a bridge between your child and the people who can more directly intervene in a crisis.
Knowing how to recognize these signs is the first step in taking action that could save someone’s life. People who attempt suicide often send out warning signs before they actually make an attempt. These signs may be loud and clear, or low-key and subtle. Knowing how to recognize these signs is the first step in taking action that could save someone’s life.
Ten Warning Signs of Suicide
- Preoccupation with death and dying
- Drastic changes in behavior or personality – A random increase in energy is just as much a cause for concern as listless behavior
- A recent severe loss (such as a relationship) or threat of a loss
- Unexpected preparations for death such as making out a will
- Giving away prized possessions
- A previous suicide attempt
- Uncharacteristic impulsiveness, recklessness, or risk-taking
- Loss of interest in personal appearance
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Sense of hopelessness about the future
- Show you care – Listen carefully – Be genuine: “I am concerned about how you are feeling.”
- Reassure your child – Be direct but caring and non-confrontational – It’s ok to ask your child directly if he/she is having suicidal thoughts/ideas, has a plan and has access to lethal means: “Sometimes kids who say/write these kinds of things are thinking about hurting themselves/others. Are you?”
- DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILD ALONE – Get help for your child immediately. “Let me get you to someone who can help."
Call for Help!
If you need to talk, or are concerned about someone else, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If someone is in immediate crisis, call 911.
Notify the Student Support Counselors at WHS – Katie Bryant & Kristi Waidhofer.
Your child spends at least eight hours a day at school and we want to do our best to ensure their safety and well-being.