Suicide can affect anybody at any age, and communication is the key to help a struggling child. KEDM’s Taylor Costa spoke with Jan Daniels, the youth development coordinator at the Children's Coalition for Northeast Louisiana, about suicide and ways to reach out to struggling children.
On what parents need to know about suicide
Parents need to know that this can affect any age of boys and girls at any time. They really need to communicate with their child and know their children’s behaviors. Ask questions if they see something that’s not the norm.
On warning signs parents can look for in their child
If they are not communicating at all, if they notice that they’re not wanting to go anywhere or do anything, a loss of interest in any other activities such as playing their game system anymore. The grades may be falling. Their sleep patterns and appetite change. Pretty much anything that you can notice in your child’s behavior that sticks out may be a reason why you want to ask what’s going on.
On what the correct response is for parents if they see warning signs
There is no wrong response by asking a question. You may ask a simple question of how do you feel or if something is bothering you. Communication is the key and make an appointment with your pediatrician or a counselor here locally and get them to ask questions that might be difficult for you to ask.
On what questions parents can ask their children to learn more about them
Communication is the key with your children. Ask them if there’s something at school bothering them or is there a certain subject that they’re having trouble with at school. Ask if they are feeling irritable and angry. It’s all about communication. The phone number that we always recommend is Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK. They can answer any types of questions and refer you to the local resources if your child needs to see someone.