Suicide is once again in the headlines with the recent suicides of two Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who survived the mass shooting in Parkland, FL and the suicide of the parent of one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. Parents can play an important role in preventing suicide by directly asking their child if they are okay and if they are considering harming themselves. The National Suicide Prevention Lifelineprovides free 24/7 support for people in distress at 1-800 273-8255.

Parents often have mistaken ideas about child suicide. An NPR story a few years ago spells out these six myths:

  1. Asking someone about suicide will cause them to become suicidal.
  2. Depression causes all suicides.
  3. We cannot really prevent suicides.
  4. Suicides always happen in an impulsive moment.
  5. Young children, ages 5 through 12, cannot be suicidal.
  6. When there has been a suicide, having a school assembly seems like a good idea.

Every one of those six statements is not true. Read the full articlefor details on each one. Take advantage of the resources at the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineto learn what the risk factors and warning signs of suicide are.