How To Cope With Suicidal Family Member – How to prevent teen or child suicide? Shots – Healthcare News If a young person says they want to end their life, how do you help them? First of all, don’t worry. Suicide can be prevented. Here are tips for helping young people in crisis from people who have been through it.
“As a mother, the thought of losing a child to suicide is overwhelming,” says Crider, founder and executive director of the Youth and Family Alliance, a support group for families of young people with mental illness in Rantoul, Illinois.
How To Cope With Suicidal Family Member
“I felt like maybe I missed the sign,” he says. “Since I’ve been working with families, why haven’t I seen this?”
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His daughter survived the ordeal, but the fear of losing her drove Crider to action. “I had to find out why and what I could do [to help her],” she says, “because I didn’t want to come home and leave her.”
This began her years-long journey to find out how to help her daughter with mental health issues; A journey that did not end for the family, but became easier over time.
As the coronavirus pandemic has worsened children’s mental health, more and more families are concerned that their children are experiencing anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. But mental health experts say suicide is preventable and parents and family members can play an important role.
It is hard work that requires parents to listen to their children, acknowledge their problems and help them find a way out of the darkness. And in the long term, it requires creating a home environment where children feel safe to share their emotional lives, and where families can work through problems together.
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It can be a long and difficult journey, so parents themselves need emotional support, Crider says.
“If it’s a friend’s house, they can go there if they need ventilation to get everything out,” says Crider. They should be able to talk about it, even if it leads to therapy.
As she dealt with her daughter’s suicidal behavior, Crider says she found support from her sister and her co-workers.
Rinne, an Illinois mother of two, sought therapy to better support her daughter as she struggled with anxiety and self-harm in 2020. (Only her middle name is used to protect her and her daughter’s privacy.)
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“Seeing a therapist really helped with the overall anxiety of the outbreak,” she says. “And then I felt like I didn’t screw up what happened to my daughter.
Figuring out what’s going on is key to finding ways to help your child, says Dr. Richard Martin, a child psychiatrist at the University of Utah. “Parents need to feel comfortable in the relationship.”
Crider says peer counseling groups like hers are also a good source of support and education for parents.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a good place to find support groups in your community or area. The American Association of Suicidology also has a directory of support groups. A Voices for Suicide Awareness has an educational guide on how parents can be partners for their children.
Helping Someone With Depression
It can be difficult for parents to understand why their child is thinking about suicide, even if parents have to resist a reaction of shock or skepticism.
“As a parent, the first thing you think about is, ‘You have a place to live, you have food, you have clothes, we love you,'” says Crider. “What could be the problem?”
But someone who is feeling suicidal or depressed is already overwhelmed and may not be able to see a way out of their pain and problems.
Instead of getting angry, parents should keep calm and “play their game,” says Megan Hilton, a depression and anxiety survivor and suicide attempt survivor.
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“When I went to see my parents, their reaction was very high,” says Hilton. “And I felt like I was responsible for their feelings now. It just puts more pressure on things.”
Hilton credits much of her recovery to the support of her older sister, precisely because she wasn’t phased when Hilton was in her moments of crisis.
When she first told her father she was depressed, Hilton remembers him telling her, “Stop it, get out, you’re fine.”
“Someone who’s really depressed, [who] really can’t cope, is very hard for parents to listen to,” says Dr. Vera Feuer, a child psychiatrist at Northwell Health in New York.
Healing After A Suicide Attempt
Children who struggle need their parents to tell them “that the feelings are valid and that the struggle is real,” she says.
One way to do this is to ask more questions. “Parents should ask, tell me more, what’s wrong with you?” ”, suggests Feuer.
If they don’t want to share with you, Feuer suggests asking someone they’d rather talk to, such as another relative, a teacher, or a school counselor.
As psychologist Ursula Whiteside said, there are some helpful things to say: “I know how strong you are. I’ve seen you go through hard times. I think we can do it together.”
Prevention Of Suicide
Feuer says it’s important to let your child know that you believe there are solutions to whatever they’re facing. He suggests using language like, “We’ll go and give you everything you need to feel better and be the best you can be.”
“People often try to appease or fix things the way they want,” he says. “Like if you feel really depressed and isolated, some people can be like that and it can be someone else’s business.” “
“When I was younger, I was so attached to the initial ‘I feel so terrible’ or ‘I’m feeling this huge emotion right now,'” she says. “And I couldn’t understand what was behind it. What is the reason?”
He says that this uncertainty made him feel powerless. But in therapy, she learned the vocabulary to identify her specific emotions, such as anger or sadness, and explore what triggers them.
What It’s Like To Live With Suicidal Thoughts
It’s not good to sit down with your kids and say, “This is a very stressful time. We all go through something. But we are family. We love each other.’
And parents can lead by example, Feuer says, “by labeling and discussing our feelings and our struggles and really modeling for our kids how we talk about [emotions], how to cope in a healthy way.”
“It’s good to sit down with your kids and say, ‘This is a very stressful time. We all go through things. But we are family. We love each other,” Crider suggests. open communication.”
“It’s a feeling of acceptance, it’s a feeling of support, it’s a feeling of being heard, ‘our family working together,'” says Crider.
Talking To Someone About Your Suicidal Feelings
If you need immediate help with a child crisis, call the suicide and life crisis line 988. You can talk about your child’s symptoms with a trained counselor and connect with local resources.
Another good place to start is your pediatrician’s office, says Sandy Chung, MD, medical director of the Virginia Mental Health Access Program, which trains and supports pediatricians in mental health.
Similar programs exist in more than 30 states in the United States, and these programs have received additional funding since the start of the pandemic. Your pediatrician can therefore treat your child independently or at least recommend you to the right person.
“It can be an emergency if your child is in crisis,” says Chung. “Maybe see a child psychiatrist if there’s one in your area…so your pediatrician knows what to do.”
September Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
You can also search for a therapist yourself using Psychology Today’s online directory, suggests Rean. Last year, she found a therapist for her daughter.
Parents’ work does not end with finding a therapist for their child. They need to stay involved, informed and advocate for their child.
Once they were diagnosed, Crider learned more about autism and how it affected her daughter’s emotional and social life. She finally understood why school was a source of so much stress and anxiety for a girl who, she says, “had trouble getting along with her peers.”
“We saw the same therapist,” she says. “The therapist talked to him, then talked to me, and then shared with me what was appropriate in therapy to help [him].”
Things To Know From Those Who Have Attempted Suicide
Along the way, he learns about his daughter’s causes, including regular school, and is better able to protect her.
“I really started working
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