Tips for Supporting Your Teenager in a Crisis [Australia only]

Tips for Supporting Your Teenager in a Crisis

1) get knowledge
2) know what to do if the teenager is suicidal
3) talk to your teenager about suicide
4) create a safety plan
5) support the teenager to manage suicidal thoughts
6) as a parent/carer,make good self-care

1) get knowledge
– suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 o 24
– it can be impulsive for some / carefully planned for others
– young people who contemplate suicide are unable to imagine their life ever getting better
– emotional pain is so great, they believe it outweigh their ability o cope – they have lost the ability to cope

Signs of suicide:
– talk of death/suicide, even jokingly
– expressions of helplessness /,being trapped
– withdrawal from family/friends
– increased AOD use
– expressions of rage/revenge
– dramatic changes in mood
– research into suicid in the Internet
– making of final arrangements – saying goodbye; giving away possessions
– depression for a Long period of time p
-,suddenly seeming to be really well
2) what to do

3) talk to your teenager about suicide – be direct / do not worry that you are putting an idea into their head / believe them
Q: “Are you thinking about suicide”

4) create a safety plan (so as to gain perspective)
– make agreements – that they do not act before telling you | Suicide Callback Service or Lifeline
– get the teenager to write it down
– structure – when to use the plan
a) get them to write down the situations, thoughts or feelings that might cause them to feel suicidal
– what are the triggers/warning signs for when to use the safety plan (certain people, situations not to be around
b) make a list of things he/she can do to feel safe, comforted & protected
C) create a list of reasons for living – for e.g. Family, friends, the future, my pet, my faith
D) who they can talk to when feeling distressed
E) contacts -therapist, kids helpline – 1800 55 1800 | Lifeline – 13 11 14 | / dr | psychologist
F) what they can do to make their environment safe when they feel like hurting themselves – securing items they old use to self-harm | ask someone else to help them stay safe | document the activities they use to distract themselves until the thoughts pass
G) if the safety plan is not enough – it is important to make an agreement to call numbers above or 000 (Australia) or report to he emergency ward in hospital

5) support the teenager to manage suicidal thoughts
– acknowledge/validate their thoughts/concerns
– help them realise such thoughts will pass
– reassure that – with support, they can get through the tough times
– remember – suicidal thoughts are real, but they are only thoughts
– they have control to choose what they do with their thoughts
– they do not have to result in action
– interventions can involve more than 1 solution
– encourage them to talk to you about their thoughts
– do not leave alone if suicidal
– encourage them to refrain from AOD Use
[be concerned & patient – listen more than talk][do not try to reason them out of it, cheer them up or make them feel guilty]

6) as a parent/carer take good self-care

Source: Suicideprevention ReachOut.Com

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