How Do I Protect My Daughter?

  1. Making final arrangements
  • Like adults, she might try to put her affairs in order before attempting suicide even potentially making some of her funeral arrangements
  • She may say good-bye to friends and family, letting them know they were important to her or that they had hurt her
  • There may be particular things that she tries to give away to people that she wants to have them after she is dead
  1. Miscellaneous signs to be aware of:
  • Recent losses in her life from death of people she cared about or a peer to loss of an after school job to a recent break-up
  • Recent instability within the family, especially a divorce
  • Loneliness, shame, humiliation, rejection and similar difficult-to-accept emotions
  • In serious trouble that has not been her norm
  • Impulsiveness and inattention
  • Physical complaints that seem to be more emotionally-based than physically-based
  • Increased involvement in drugs or alcohol
  • Previous suicide attempts greatly increase her risk
  • In the year after a suicide attempt, the risk of being successful on another attempt is greatly enhanced
  • Pay attention not only to outright suicide attempts but also to other ways that she is engaging in self-harm

This list provides a good overview of some things to be aware of. When you start seeing a number of things on the list applying to her, then try and have a talk with her or see that she has someone to talk to and is talking to them. Some people have said that if a person is explicitly talking about suicide they will not attempt suicide, but this is not true.

However, it is also not true that talking about suicide with someone will make them more likely to commit suicide. In fact the opposite is true— talking about it has the possibility of acknowledging where they are at and may allow them to start addressing how they are feeling. As you do talk with her, it is important to remain nonjudgmental and to continue to have an attitude of caring towards her.

When you do this, you have the possibility of being the agent that will help her discover a sense of hope that she can experience peace and wholeness in her life. This is a wonderful way to protect your daughter.

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