Here’s How to Help Stop the Teen Suicide Epidemic

Teenagers often go through a tough time as they begin to transition out of childhood and into adulthood – and social media has made it even harder for young teens.

With constant posts either pressuring them to compromise their values to fit in, or others even bullying them or telling them they aren’t enough, many teens are seeking drastic measures to make the pain stop.

And while some adults simply shrug off their despair as “teen angst”, a shocking new study reveals just how serious the teenage suicide problem actually is.

If you’re wondering what you can do as a mom of a young teen, we have some tips to get you started:

  1. Acknowledge The Problem: Please don’t be one of those moms who thinks teenagers don’t “really have it that tough.”

Yes, while there is a big world out there, remember our teens are confined with their current perception of reality which is mostly confined to schools, after school activities, and social media.

This is why it is critical to affirm our teens and recognize that depression and anxiety exist.

Still think teen suicide is just “hype”?

And The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported teen suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for teens ages 10-24, with 4,600 lives lost each year.

It’s happening. It’s a problem.

Pretending it is not a real thing won’t make it go away.

If you have a teen who is depressed and feel unequipped to handle the problem, beat the stigma from seeking outside help.

It just might save your child’s life!

  1. Keep Communication Open: Moms, it’s critical during this period you make sure your teen knows they can always come to you!

Some moms rule with fear, which in turn makes teens feel like they can’t discuss hard problems (or even times they messed up) with mom.

And the last thing you want is your teen holding in things that are bothering them!

This doesn’t mean you let your teen do whatever they want, and that there are never consequences if they make bad decisions (like steal alcohol and drink), but by establishing yourself as a compassionate person who will walk through tough issues – your teen will trust you.

Hopefully, this means if they are struggling with something at school – they have the confidence in you to talk with you knowing you won’t judge them but help them through their struggle.

  1. Be Pro-Active: Many moms aren’t waiting until their child displays symptoms and are taking pro-active measures.

After Julie Lutz learned about her daughter’s mental health struggle, she downloaded an app called “Bark” which would report certain of her daughter’s behaviors directly to Julie

Scary Mommy reported:

“Since the attempt, Lutz has been pro-active in supporting her daughter’s mental health by enrolling her in extensive counseling through school and outside of school, as well as installing a security software — Bark — in her daughter’s phone. Bark’s software contains an algorithm designed to notify parents via text and/or email of any potential risks (e.g. suicide, self-harm, sexual-predator “grooming,” drugs, violence, nudity, etc.) detected in a child’s technological devices.”

As it turns out, Bark alerted Julie to a search her young daughter was searching for regarding household pills in an attempt to harm herself.

Julie recommends all moms get this application to help in just one of many tools in dealing with a teenager who may have mental illness.

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While this world can sometimes be a cruel place, you play a critical role in helping navigate your teen through some of their most difficult years.

Moms are never perfect and we all make mistakes, but you can attempt to take a pro-active approach with your child by monitoring their social media searches and building a relationship with them at a young age to let the know how loved and valued they are.

Nothing can be bulletproof at preventing a tragedy, but that doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on our teens and ignore the problems they are facing.

Were you surprised to learn that suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens ages 10-24?

What are some ways you helped your teenager during their most difficult years?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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