LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Here are 6 tips for parents who suspect their child is suicidal:
1. Know the warning signs!
2. Don't be afraid to talk to your child.
Talking to your children will not put thoughts of suicide in their heads. In fact, all evidence indicates that talking to your child lowers the risk of suicide. The message is, "Suicide is not an option, and help is available."
3. Suicide proof your home.
Make the knives, pills and, above all, firearms inaccessible.
4. Utilize school and community resources.
This can include your school psychologist, crisis intervention personnel, suicide prevention groups or hotlines, or private mental health professionals.
5. Take immediate action.
If your child indicates he/she is contemplating suicide, or if your gut instinct tells you they might hurt themselves, get help. Do not leave your child alone. Even if he/she denies meaning it stay with him. Reassure him/her. Seek professional help. If necessary drive your child to the hospital's emergency room to ensure that he is in a safe environment until a psychiatric evaluation can be completed.
6. Listen to your child's friends.
They may give hints that they are worried about their friend but are uncomfortable telling you directly. Be open. Ask questions.