Children and Thoughts of Suicide Part 2

As discussed in a prior article part 1, children DO have thoughts of suicide and DO act upon those thoughts. What do you need to pay attention to? How do children know about suicide? What can YOU do?

What do you need to pay attention to is a big question and depends on different variables such as age, maturity, external influences, prior losses, prior attempts at suicide, mental and emotional mind set, the list can go on.  Do not dismiss the idea or fact that your child does not feel they belong here; here as on this earth.

With this feel comes a deep sense of being lost and viewing the world differently than many people normally do, if there is a normal.

Some potential signs to be aware of are; child isolating them self, giving away items, overly affectionate with you or others, writing a will, saying their last good bye that may not be construed as such at the time, no sense of belonging or feeling wanted, and possibly an I don’t care attitude.  This “I don’t care” can come from a deep spot inside of them.  So deep that it seems as if it is felt in every cell of their body.  This FEELING is difficult to explain, unless you have experienced it yourself.

You may wonder how children know about suicide. Schools, families, social media, books, television programs, the news or overhearing a conversation may contribute to a child’s suicide awareness.  I wonder if there is an innate drive to get out of certain situations or something inside them that wants to escape this life.

This is serious.  Our children are dying by suicide.  Young children as young as aged six have made attempts, while others from this age…grade school children have succeeded at ending their lives.

The topic of suicide may arise if a classmate, friend or relative dies by suicide or attempts suicide. Do not be fooled by the thought that my child wouldn’t do such a thing. That is exactly the attitude that causes you to miss the signs.

Children have access to computers and can easily find resources and information on any topic, if they want to. If you feel, get a second sense or suspect your child is susceptible to suicide thoughts get help. Open the conversation or have someone else do it for you.

Be supportive not confrontational. Provide resources, counselling, or whatever is needed. If one avenue doesn’t work, try another one.

Kids Help Phone Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Canadians aged 5 to 29 who want confidential and anonymous care from trained responders. Visit the Kids Help Phone website for online chat support or to access online resources for children and youth.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide,

call or text 9-8-8. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist