Archive for February 12th, 2007

February 12, 2007

Teen suicide attempt. How can we know this will not happen again?

by Rod Smith

READER: Our daughter (16) attempted suicide. She wants more freedom, more trust, less supervision and less “intrusion” from us. My husband and I are devastated. How can we know this will not happen again?

ROD: Never take suicide threats lightly. Even the suggestion of suicide must be met head on with the full arm of whatever resources are available. Avoid “deal-making” with your daughter (“we will do this if you will do that”). Teen suicide, I believe is a family affair, be sure to see a therapist who will see the whole family together at least some of the time.

The act of writing to me for help indicates that you have it within you to find the professional assistance you need. Ask your doctor, friends, anyone who might know and find the best resources available in the greater Durban and KWA-Zulu area to help suicidal children.

If you, reading this, are a professional mental health worker dealing with adolescent suicide, kindly email me your contact details, and a brief sketch your work and training. I will forward this information to the parents of this young woman that they might choose a suitable therapist for the family.