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SUICIDE

Common Signs

Suicidal teenagers often withdraw from friends and family, losing interest in their surroundings, personal appearance and social activities. They may show increased moodiness, depression or sadness that lasts for several days and may give away prized possessions. They may make statements like, "You'd be better off without me".

How To Avoid Problems

Help your child develop a sense of self-worth. Praise and encourage your child and his/her accomplishments. Listen to your child's problems and be available to talk when he/she needs you. Take your child's problems seriously no matter how insignificant they may seem to you.

What To Do If You Have Problems

If your child appears suicidal, get professional help. Call your local mental health association for a referral. Many communities also have suicide hotlines. Assure your child that as desperate as he/she feels at the moment, help is available and he/she will get better.