Getting Help For A Teen Who is Suicidal
How to get help for yourself or a friend or classmate considering suicide. And how teens may deal with their own emotions after a friend's suicide.
If you have been thinking about suicide, get help right away, rather than simply hoping your mood might improve. When a person has been feeling down for so long, it's hard for him to understand that suicide isn't the answer - it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Talk to anyone you know as soon as you can - a friend, a coach, a relative, a school counselor, a religious leader, a teacher, or any trusted adult. Call your local emergency number or check in the front pages of your phone book for the number of a local suicide crisis line. These toll-free lines are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by trained professionals who can help you without ever knowing your name or seeing your face. All calls are confidential - nothing is written down and no one you know will ever find out that you've called. There is also a National Suicide Helpline - 1-800-SUICIDE.
If you have a friend or classmate who you think is considering suicide, get help right away rather than waiting to see if he will feel better. Even if your friend or classmate swears you to secrecy, you must get help as soon as possible - your friend's life could depend on it. A person who is seriously thinking about suicide is depressed - and isn't able to see that suicide is never the answer to his problems.
Although it is never your job to single-handedly prevent your friend from attempting suicide, you can help by first reassuring your friend, then going to a trusted adult as soon as possible. If necessary, you can call your local emergency number (911) or the toll-free number of the National Suicide Helpline - 1-800-SUICIDE. However you go about finding assistance for your friend, you must involve an adult - even if you think you can handle your friend on your own, this may not be the case.
After Suicide: How to Deal With Your Own Feelings
Sometimes even if you get help and adults intervene, a friend or classmate may attempt or commit suicide. When this happens, it's common to have many different emotions. Some teens say they feel guilty - especially if they felt they could have interpreted their friend's actions and words better. Others say they feel angry with the person who committed or attempted suicide for doing something so selfish. Still others say they feel nothing at all - they are too filled with grief. When someone attempts suicide, the people around him may feel afraid or uncomfortable about talking with him about it. Try to resist this urge; this is a time when a person absolutely needs to feel connected to others.
When someone commits suicide, the people around him may become very depressed and even think about suicide themselves. It's important to know that you should never blame yourself for someone's death - you could question yourself forever, which will only make you unhappy and won't bring your friend back. It's also good to know that any emotion you feel is appropriate; there is no right or wrong way to feel. Many schools will address the problem of a student's suicide head-on and call in special counselors to talk with students and help them deal with their feelings. If you are having difficulty dealing with a friend or classmate's suicide, it's best to make use of these resources or talk to an adult you trust. Feeling grief after a friend commits suicide is normal; it's when it begins to interfere with your everyday life that you may need to speak with someone about your feelings.
The National Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE provides access to trained telephone counselors, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or for a crisis center in your area, go here.
Tracy, N. (2008, December 30). Getting Help For A Teen Who is Suicidal, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, September 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/articles/getting-help-for-a-teen-who-is-suicidal