When a person is in crisis, family members may have many questions. This toolkit is designed to provide some answers. While no one can guarantee someone else's safety, this information may help you feel more confident and better prepared to give the care and attention your loved one needs through this challenging time.
The toolkit is designed for the family member of a person 15-24 years of age who is experiencing a difficult time in his/her life. If your loved one is a different age, you will likely still find this information helpful.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth between ages 10-19 years of age in Michigan. Suicidal thoughts can be the result of many different situations a child is facing. Frequently, the child does not know how to handle the situation and thinks everything would be better without him or her. Young people often do not realize the impact of these thoughts, and, as a parent, you can help in these ways:
Nearly 60% of all suicides in the United States are committed with a gun. Keep any guns at your home unloaded and locked in a gun safe.
Overdose via over-the-counter, prescription, and non-prescription medicine is also a very common means of suicide and attempted suicide. Monitor all medications in your home. Take prescription medicine out of the medicine cabinet and secure it in a place only you know about. If possible, keep all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet your child cannot access. Properly dispose of expired or unused prescription medications.
50-75% of all people who consider suicide tell someone about their intention. It is critical to acknowledge and take seriously all threats of suicide. If your child is showing signs of struggle, don’t ignore it. Get him or her professional help. You can start with school staff, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services - Community Mental Health Services Programs.
Free, confidential help is always available at 800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433).