“Youth who feel suicidal are not likely to seek help directly.”
This is clearly stated on the Suicide Prevention page of an American organisation called National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
It also says: “Parent notification is a vital part of suicide prevention. Parents need to be informed and actively involved in decisions regarding their child’s welfare. Even if a child is judged to be at low risk for suicidal behavior, schools will ask parents to sign a Notification of Emergency Conference form to indicate that relevant information has been provided. Additionally, parents are crucial members of a suicide risk assessment as they often have information critical to making an appropriate assessment of risk, including mental health history, family dynamics, recent traumatic events, and previous suicidal behaviors.”
This document is written for students up to the age of 19. But it is equally applicable to older ‘children’.
One set of parents bereaved by suicide discovered after the death of their young son that he had spoken with most of his friends about his suicidal ideation. It is well known that the parents are the last to find out. They have now set up a foundation with this sole message to young people: “if your friends share suicidal thoughts with you, please tell someone older who is in a position to help. Anyone.”
This afternoon I spent a few hours with one of my son’s close friends from university. I was amazed at his level of empathy and maturity. He shared this website with me on which he is a Listener. It is called 7 Cups of Tea, an on-demand emotional health and well-being service. Their bridging technology anonymously & securely connects real people to real listeners in one-on-one chat. I was impressed by the range of topics, languages and countries it covers.
It sounds perfect for those of us who may not wish to speak to anyone in person.
It must be an impossible subject to talk about, but it is amazing how many people are willing to listen.