First, it’s essential to leave the hospital with a plan. If there is no treatment or plan in place, then the next time the child expresses suicidal ideation or urges to self-harm, caregivers panic and are forced to bring the child right back to the ER. As a result, treatment only happens during crises, and the child becomes a frequent flyer in the hospital system. So, in addition to having an actual treatment plan and providers tee-ed up post-hospitalization, families should have clarity about how they can most effectively respond if the child begins to experience a re-emergence or uptick in suicidal thoughts.
Second, parents need to know how to maintain a safe environment at home—an environment that will reduce the possibility that their child can hurt themselves should the urges come back up again. And chances are that urges will resurface until the child learns how to cope with the emotional and situational triggers of their self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Coping skills will come from treatment, but until those skills are developed, parents can create a safe physical space for the child by securing medications, tools, and other potential hazards out of the teen’s reach. It’s essential for parents to learn how to properly secure the environment for safety. If instructions have not been provided explicitly, families should inquire about the steps necessary to secure the environment.
Third, get educated. Learn the hidden signs, and triggers. Discover what to do and not do. What to say and not say. Getting educated is a valuable tool to learning how to be there for our children.
Watching a child suffer from self-harm and suicidal urges can be painful. However, parents can feel both reassured and empowered, knowing that with some skills and strategies, they can play a central role in keeping their teens safe and supporting them in their return to health and independence. When combined with therapy, these thoughtful and practical shifts in the home environment can promote short-term safety and a long-term reduction in vulnerability to suicidal urges.
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If you or someone you love is contemplating suicide, seek help immediately. For help 24/7 dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
Part of the article Shared From https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322064