Friday, September 14th
Seven Days of Refection for
National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week
Thoughts on Losing a Child to Suicide
Day SIX: It is OK to directly ask, “Are you thinking about suicide?” People who are struggling in the depth of depression cannot see a clear path to asking for help. Often, with their distorted thinking, they do not feel worthy of receiving help.
When Kenny was a freshman, I noted a significant change in his mood that lasted for several weeks. My friend, a child psychologist, told me to bring him to the hospital for an evaluation. When I reached out to Kenny to go, he just got up and went with me. He knew he needed help, but did not know how to ask. Our children also do not want to let parents down. So, they hide their feelings from us.
That was the day that I found out that Kenny had stood on the train tracks, wanting to end his life, and our world changed forever.
Talking about suicide will NOT put the thoughts in a young person’s head. Talking to someone with a healthy brain will not cause them to contemplate suicide. Talking to someone who is thinking about it gives them permission to ask for help.
ASK the question. Be compassionate. Be ready to respond with bringing a child for an evaluation. Understand that YES, it could be your child.