Published on Oct 10, 2021
10 Ways to Prevent Suicide in Teens for Parents
Suicide is mainly caused due to mental health conditions and emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, intense sadness, etc. Many parents are trying to help their kids prevent suicide or having suicidal thoughts.
You should know about the signs of suicide and the causes of suicide among teens, which helps you prevent teen suicide. During teenage years, frustration, hopelessness, depression, and anxiety are common among teenagers; as their negative feelings grow, the risk of suicide among teens increases.
Teens experience challenges dealing with peer pressures, rejection, failure, substance abuse, family instability, and many more. When they can’t cope with these problems, thinking about suicide starts among them.
Data Related to Suicide
Between the ages of 15 and 24, suicide is the third most leading cause of death. Over the past 10 years, the researcher has shown that the dying by suicide between 10 to 24 years old has been increased by approximately 57.5%.
According to a recent survey, the total annual suicide rate of around 1 in 10,000 individuals is teenagers 15 to 20 years old. For adolescents aged 13 to 19 years, up to 10% of boys and 20% of girls contemplated suicide. According to the survey, the number of women who die by suicide is twice as high as the number of men.
What causes Teens to Suicide?
Teenagers are a periodic age where they are packed with physical and emotional changes. Their physical appearance will change, their mindset, thinking, and emotion will also change.
Teenagers can feel unsure about their body change and start to feel inferior, leading to emotional problems. Self-acceptance is something they might not be aware of at the age, leading them to depression.
In this internet age, social media has also increased the risk of suicide among teens. And not to forget bullies and fake friends that teens find on social media.
Emotional reactions of tension, frustration, anxiety, and fear can hinder problem-solving and decision-making capability. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety may also cause suicide in teenagers. Here are some other factors that cause suicide threats among children and adolescents:
➢ Mental disorder
➢ Loss in family members, closed friends or loved ones
➢ Family history of suicide cases
➢ Pressure from home and school
➢ Being the victim of bullying
➢ Low-income family environment
➢ Physical health complication
➢ Unsupportive parents or society about their sexuality
➢ Addiction towards drug and other violent activities
Warning Symptoms of Teens Suicide
Suicide thought doesn’t come over overnight or naturally. It’s the thought process that comes slowly when teens cannot find a solution to their problems and think their problems increase every day. Suicide attempts start among tweens and teens when they cannot find the solution to their temporary problems.
If your teen is going through hard times or is showing any suicidal behavior, it is a warning signal for you. You can analyze these symptoms for preventing suicide among your kids. Here is the warning sign of teen suicide:
➢ Frequently talking about suicide or writing suicidal letters
➢ Spending time alone and keeping themselves isolated from others
➢ Frequent mood change
➢ Talking about sad things and incident
➢ Feeling hopeless
➢ Involved in risk-taking activities
➢ Sleep deprivation
➢ Lost interest in hobbies and other activities
➢ Mental illness(depression, anxiety)
➢ Harmful habits(smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs)
Ways to Prevent Suicide in Teens for Parents
Parenting plays a vital role in keeping teens safe from suicide. If your teen is going through a rough time or finding difficulties, you should know the primary root cause of that problem and find ways to solve those issues. You can prevent suicide in teens by addressing the warning symptoms of teen suicide and keep interacting with teens about their daily lives. Here are the 10 ways of teen suicide prevention for parents:
1. Address Depression or Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are the major issues that every teen faces. They can feel depressed if any incident occurs like family pressure, bullying, breakup, etc. You need to know if your teens are going through depression or anxiety or not.
As a parent, you should empower your teens about ways to tackle their problems. Don’t expect your teen to talk freely about depression; you need to take the initiative first to have a genuine conversation with your teens and offer your help.
2. Watch Teens Activities
If your tween and teen are thinking of suicide or having a severe problem, they may show the warning symptoms of suicide. You, as a parent, need to watch their activities closely and never ignore your kids when they are showing some weird behavior or thinking about suicide.
It’s never too late to take action if your teens are giving you warning signs. You should provide children with problem-solving abilities. It would help if you made a rule in the house like talking or sharing sessions about their daily activities.
3. Build Self-Esteem and Confidence
It’s important to teach your teen to have self-esteem and confidence. Parents can build their teen’s self-esteem and confidence in many ways. Teens with high self-esteem rarely get bullied and are least affected by any negative comments.
You should make your teen aware of bullying and confident that they can handle those bullies personally. You should motivate your teen to share problems with you and help them solve any problems. Also, do not let your teens be on social media for a long time as it can affect their self-esteem.
4. Listen To Your Teens
Parents need to pay attention to their teen activities and listen to what they are trying to say. If your teen has a suicidal thought, they might not talk or share their problem with you, but you can know there’s something terrible going on by the warning signs of suicidal thoughts.
Thus, you as a parent should create a peaceful environment at home where your child can express what they are feeling. Also, make sure you listen to your teen’s problems without judging them. Please don’t be harsh to your teens and understand their problems from their point of view.
5. Regular Exercise
It would help if you made sure that your kids always spend at least 15 minutes doing physical exercising, yoga, or meditating. It gives them a very disciplined life. If your kids have suicidal thoughts, anxiety, or depression, encourage them to meditate, which helps relax their minds. Meditation is the best way to prevent youth suicide.
Hence, it is your responsibility as a parent to create a daily routine for regular exercise. Please make sure you also get involved in those activities because teens will feel motivated to do exercise when you are doing it with them.
6. Be Supportive
During teenage, teenagers can feel lonely; therefore, you should be a supportive parent when your kids are teenagers. Stop interrupting your kids whenever they are doing any activities and give them some privacy.
If you are not spending time with your teens, they feel isolated and feel their parents do not love them. This leads to loneliness and depression and slowly leads to teen suicidal thoughts. You need to respect your teens’ choices and support them in every aspect of life.
If teens get support from their parents, they tend to share their feelings, and if any problems occur, they will tell their parents. Supportive parents also help to build teenagers’ self-esteem and confidence.
7. Monitor Your Teen Device
You never know what your kids are doing on their devices, and this thought might stress you all the time. The cell phone usage time among teens is more than 7 hours which is quite shocking. Spending too much time on their cell phone can affect their mental health.
Also, not to forget that teenagers are obsessed with social media and spend hours without taking a single break. Sometimes teenagers can view some inappropriate websites or play inappropriate games. Similarly, spending too much time on social media can make anyone depressed and anxious.
Thereby it is necessary to monitor your teen’s devices screen time and device activities. You can use parental control apps to monitor their social media accounts, messages, photos, videos, etc.
By monitoring their digital device, parents will know about their online worlds, and if any problem is hindering teen lives, parents will be able to help before any serious incident occurs.
8. Always Encourage Your Teen
Parents should always be encouraging their teens because it helps to boost their morale. Encourage your teens to have limited device activities. Make sure they are involved in such activities that help to enhance their problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
If they need any help and support, let them know you are there for your teens. Please encourage your teens to spend their time with friends and family.
Never demotivate your teens on any choices they make in their life. For instance, if they want to color their hair blue, let them experiment, but never make fun of their choices. This can demotivate them, let them make their own choices, and encourage them to make better choices in their lives.
9. Strong Connection
It’s essential to have a strong connection between parents and teens. There will be less chance of suicide risk among teens if there are strong bonds between parents and teens. You as a parent need to get involved in teens’ lives and need to have a good influence on them.
Consequently, they can look up to you and learn their good habits. Let your teens know how much you love them and show the importance of their presence in your life. Would you please try to spend quality time with your teens by giving your free time to them? Talking to your teens about the causes and effects of suicide will somehow help to prevent suicide.
10. Seek Professional Help
If your teen’s behavior is changing and behaving like a different person, you must know there’s something wrong. Parents should know the warning symptoms. If your teen is thinking of suicide and should know the warning symptoms, seeking professional help will prevent suicide.
If your teens are out of your reach and don’t listen to you, it’s better to take them to the doctor or someone they listen to. It can be a helpful step for teens who are having mental health issues. Following a mental health professional will help to prevent your kid’s mental health complications.
Therefore, there are many risk factors causing suicide among teens. The role of parents is crucial in keeping them safe and not having any suicidal thoughts. Parents should know the risk factor and warning symptoms of teen suicide to prevent suicide among teens.
I have briefly described how to prevent suicide among teens; it will be helpful for any parents. By reading this article, you will know what you should do and what you should not do. Make sure you always support and encourage your teens.
Also, if you have some more solutions to prevent suicide or suicidal thought among kids, please feel free to mention them in the comment section below.