If a young person talks about suicide, take it seriously. Suicide is one of the three leading causes of death among young people. If a young person tells you s/he is thinking of killing her/himself and asks that you keep it a secret, This is a secret you cannot keep. Seek out supportive services immediately. (See Counseling.)
If you think your child or a youth you are working with maybe suicidal, don't be afraid to ask. Mentioning suicide will not give a young person the idea or push them over the edge. Talking about it can prevent suicide from happening. A suicidal person is not beyond help. The crisis period usually lasts a short time. With help a person can get better. If you think the situation is immediately life threatening call the police at 911 or Lifeline at (800)310-1160 or TDD: (585)275-2700.
Possible contributing factors to adolescent suicide include:
These five questions are often asked to find out whether or not a person is considering suicide:
Yes answers to any of these questions means you must be concerned and should seek professional help for your child. (See Counseling.) Don't try to handle it alone.
The first step in stopping a suicide is to have the person promise "If I feel like I'm going to hurt myself, I will call someone or a hotline first." The next step is to connect the person to needed professional supports and resources.
Call for crisis intervention services and information:
(Adapted from Lifeline's Adolescent Suicide-Outreach Program Card.)