LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - September 10 marks a serious day of awareness - it is World Suicide Prevention Day.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth and young adults in Kentucky, and the alarming statistics are growing nationwide.
Check your child’s backpack this week as schools around WAVE Country are sending letters home to parents letting you know that suicide prevention is happening in their classroom. Kentucky law requires 6th to 12th grade students to take part in this, but new this year. Jefferson County Public Schools confirms to WAVE 3 News that 5th graders will also receive suicide prevention education.
They're going above and beyond the law telling us they're using a research based program, designed specifically for students in 5th grade, delivered by a school counselor.
This begs the questions, when is the appropriate age to talk to your child about suicide?
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association say children age 8 and younger are too young to handle tragedies like this.
If your child is younger than age 8 experts say to keep it simple, but only if your child asks.
For 8 to 10 year-olds, keep the conversation short but honest. Make sure to emphasize that death is terribly sad and mental health is a disease.
If your child is between 11 and 14 years old be more concrete. It’s time to talk about warning signs, prevention, and ways to get help. If you have a high schooler and haven’t talked about suicide yet experts say now is the time.
When your child moves onto college, experts say it’s important to check in and make sure they’re doing okay. The stress of higher education classes, living away from home, and having more responsibility can be overwhelming.
Half the battle of talking about suicide, is not only knowing when to do it, but how to do it. Experts say part of that process is understanding, and comforting, those who are struggling.
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline breaks down three important guidelines for helping others.
Hope can happen. We can all take action. Crisis centers are critical.
To learn more about what these mean, and important warning signs, click here: