As a parent, you may feel helpless if you suspect that your young adult is suffering from depression or considering suicide. However, there are some parenting strategies that you can employ to support your young adult during this difficult time. You may look for warning signs, such as secrecy, isolation, depression, or expressions of despair. Substance abuse and addiction and certain mental illnesses can also increase a young adult’s risk of suicide. If a suicide attempt takes place, the young adult may experience more intense emotions of shame, guilt, and isolation; building connections with others and participating in meaningful activities may help young adults avoid repeated attempts. In this difficult situation, parents should show acceptance, a lack of judgment, empathy, and build safe, trustworthy, and open communication with their child.
Knowledge is power, and you can learn how to help young adults by knowing what warning signs to look for, the potential health impact of a suicide attempt, and how you can seek help and offer support. Remember, if you suspect that someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Reach out immediately and you’ll find support during a difficult time.