Suicide is the leading cause of death among teenagers, and over the past decade, youth suicide rates have rapidly increased year over year.
But as parents, it can be hard to know how to navigate conversations around the topic of suicide.
Jennifer Hartstein, a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with suicidal adolescents, sat down with Today Show hosts, Jenna Bush Hager and Maria Shriver to talk about the warning signs of suicide in teens, and how to help.
Warning Signs of Suicide:
- Any significant changes in behavior.
- Any sort of talk about suicide—whether it be jokingly or seriously.
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed.
- Goodbye behaviors—withdrawing from friends and family.
Jennifer says one of the greatest ways to start the conversation about suicide and mental health with your kids is to simply be present.
“Let them know you’re there, don’t be afraid to say, ‘hey, you seem a little bit down today, what’s going on?’” Jennifer says. “The more present you are, the more open they are to come talk to you.”