Talking with your Children about Suicide

Local News

 “I realized it when i was younger that I always thought a little bit different than everybody else.  I was always sad a lot of the times.

Deylyn Medina is just one of the many young people who has thought about suicide.  

Deylyn says there were days she felt like giving up.
on life. 

  “I would just tell myself everyday like, ‘Just give up.  It’s over.  You can’t keep going.”

According to national statistics, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 19 year olds.
More than 2,000 children and teens commit suicide every year.

Dr. John Ackerman with Nationwide Children’s Hospital says,  “To put that into context, we think about 9/11 where we lost 3,000 individuals and every 18 months we basically have another 9/11.”

He says it’s safe to have a tough conversation with your child and adds it’s important for parents to ask their child directly if they’re thinking about suicide.

“Talking to a young person directly about suicide does not increase their risk for suicide but it does really increase the chances they’ll talk to us and get help they need.”

Deylyn says, “I had that direct conversation.  When i was 13, I ran away from home.  When I got home, my parents asked me that same thing.  They asked me if i was considering suicide and I flat out said “Yes.”  Because of that, it was easier to talk to them.”

Dr. Ackerman says young people are especially vulnerable for a number of reasons.

“This is a period of life when, physically, they’re as healthy as they’re ever going to be but emotionally they’re going through lots of different changes in their lives.”

That’s why he’s working to keep the conversation going in the classroom.

  “It’s really important for us to start this conversation early and work specifically with schools and talk to parents because really, 50% of mental health issues start by the age of 14.”

 According to Deylyn, “If you don’t ask, you’ll look back and be like, ‘It’s too late.’  You never want to have an it’s too late moment.”

Deylyn gives this advice to those struggling with thoughts of suicide.

 “Don’t give up.  Don’t stop.  Don’t listen to the negativity.  Don’t give in and just keep going because once you reach your lowest point, there’s nowhere to go but up.”

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