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Unanswered Questions: How to take preventative measures against teen suicide

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When it comes to preventing teen suicide, parents are not powerless. The American Psychological Association says you can guard your teen against the possibility of suicide.

  • Interact with your teen positively (give consistent feedback, compliments for good work).
  • Increase his/her involvement in positive activities (promote involvement in clubs/sports).
  • Appropriately monitor your teen’s whereabouts and communications (texting, Facebook, Twitter) with the goal of promoting safety.
  • Be aware of your teen’s social environment (friends, teammates, coaches) and communicate regularly with other parents in your community.
  • Communicate regularly with your teen’s teachers to ensure safety at school.
  • Limit your teen’s access to alcohol, prescription pills, illegal drugs, knives and guns.
  • Talk with your teen about your concerns; ask him/her directly about suicidal thoughts.
  • Explain the value of therapy and medication to manage symptoms.
  • Address your concerns with other adults in your child’s life (teachers, coaches, family).
  • Discuss your concerns with his/her pediatrician to seek mental health referrals.
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