Helping Teenagers To Cope With Suicidal Thoughts
The topic of suicide was once very taboo in our society. It was so taboo that the topic remained buried beneath other, less important topics. But for adolescents in today’s society, the topic is no longer taboo, at least for them. If the topi is no longer taboo for our youths today, it shouldn’t be taboo among us adults. We need to talk about it.
This webinar will discuss steps that parents and teachers can take to ensure their teen is getting appropriate support. Please feel free o share this webinar with your teen’s teacher as well.
In the webinar below, I offer tips on how to discuss the topic of suicide with teens who are (or have been) considering suicide as a “remedy” to their problems. I also speak directly to educators/teachers, parents, and families on how to connect and support the teen once the teen opens up about their thoughts.
Things to consider
It is important, during this webinar, to keep in mind that a teen who is considering suicide is almost always depressed, anxious, or struggling with a social or relational problem. Before broaching the topic of suicide, it can be helpful to ask teens if they are happy with their peer relationships and if not, what would make things better. When I begin therapy with a teen I ask them to describe their friends and discuss what about their peer group they would like to change. This opens up discussion about how they view themselves in the relationship, how they are getting their needs me, and if they need to separate from negative peers.
I have had many teens appear resistant to this discussion at first but then later open up and discuss the things that “annoy them” about the relationship. The key to getting teens to open up is to avoid sounding as if you want to “fix” things or tell them what to do. Just listen. You can ask them if they would like you to make a suggestion. If they say no, leave it at that until a later time. You may also be able to find a strategic way to “drop hints” or make mini suggestions without them knowing it. The purpose of the conversation is to make communication between you and the teen easy. You want teens to see that conversing with you will be beneficial.
If you have suggestions on how parents, families, and teachers/educators can best support our teens, please list them below in the comment box.