- The National Association of School Psychologists
- The National Suicide Prevention Hotline
- Guidance For Families
- Services Available in Dudley-Charlton Area
- Helping Children Cope with Grief
- Helping Teenagers Cope with Death
The National Association of School Psychologists created a web page for educators and families to help discuss this series:
- Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. While we don't recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch, with them or to catch, and discuss their thoughts.
- Don't be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
- Always take warning signs seriously, and never promise to keep them a secret. Establish a confidential reporting mechanism for students. Common signs include:
- Suicide threats, both direct ("I am going to kill myself." "I need life to stop.") and indirect ("I need it to stop." "I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up.") Threats can be verbal or written, and they are often found in online postings.
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Preoccupation with death in conversation, writing, drawing, and social media.
- Changes in behavior, appearance/hygiene, thoughts, and/or feelings. This can include someone who is typically sad who suddenly becomes extremely happy.
- Emotional distress.
- Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any warning signs.
- Listen to your children's comments without judgement. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
- Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child's safety or the safety of one of their peers.
- Children who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly; however, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe. When a child gives signs that they may be considering suicide, take the following actions.
- Remain calm, be nonjudgmental, and listen. Strive to understand the intolerable emotional pain that has resulted in suicidal thoughts.
- Avoid statements that might be perceived as minimizing the student's emotional pain (e.g., "You need to move on." or " You should get over it.").
- Ask the child directly if they are thinking about suicide (i.e., "Are you thinking of suicide?").
- Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory.
- Reassure the child that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
- Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the child alone.
- Without putting yourself in danger, remove means for self-harm, including any weapons the person might find.
Child Development Institute: How to Talk to Kids About Death
Kids Health: Helping Your Child Deal With Death
Center for Effective Parenting: HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT DEATH
Parents Magazine: When Your Child's Friend Dies
Kids Health: How Can I Help My Child Cope With a Friend's Death?
As a parent, you may want to talk to your child about death because it impacts each
person in different ways.
How children react will depend on the relationships they had with the person who died,
their age, level of development, and their prior experience with death.
Your child may: appear unaffected, ask questions about the death repeatedly, be angry
or aggressive, be withdrawn or moody, be sad or depressed, become fearful or scared,
have difficulty sleeping or eating.
We suggest that you listen to your children. If they want to talk, answer their questions
simply, honestly and be prepared to answer the same questions repeatedly.
A variety of teen activities that facilitate healing: (these are only a few examples)
● Read an inspirational book about someone you admire,
● Being with friends, take in a funny movie, go to a zoo,
● Crying or screaming, punching a pillow, take kick boxing classes
● Helping others, volunteer at a soup kitchen or be a big brother/sister
● Creative projects, memory books and collages
● Having alone time, listen to music, watch a movie, take in a new band
● Art, daydream, visit a chat room for teens who are grieving,
● Hugging, work for a cause, dance, watch the sun set,
● Joining a support group
● Getting further counseling
● Writing letters and journaling
● Exercising, go for a hike, a swim, take a yoga class, learn to meditate
● Seek additional help if needed.
One of the best places to begin in seeking services would be a call to your child's
primary care physician. They can refer you to providers in your area.
Other immediate resources you can call:
Harrington Healthcare Mobile Crisis Line - 1-877-750-3127
Community Healthlink - 1-508-421-4466