How to talk to your kids about suicide

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — Suicide is a hard topic for adults and parents alike, but how do you talk to your kids about it?

Rather than avoiding difficult conversations, Don Tyson School of Innovation Counselor Tara Elzer said it’s important to not stray away from these kinds of issues.

While this can be hard, Elzer said it can be made easy if you follow these guidelines:

  • KNOW HOW TO SPOT THE SIGNS — If you notice your child is acting differently, ask them if something is wrong.
  • CREATE A SAFE SPACE FOR THEM TO TALK — Elzer said something might seem small to you, but to your child, it could feel like the end of the world.
  • BE HONEST — If you are concerned about them, let them know where you’re coming from.

To know what’s really going on is worth whatever conflict or trouble that you might cause and just explain to them and say I’m concerned about you and I’m always going to care about you.

TARA ELZER, COUNSELOR, DON TYSON SCHOOL OF INNOVATION

The biggest tip, according to Elzer, is to make talking about these hard topics a common thing.

If you’re honest and open, she said they’ll be more prone to talking to you about issues in the future.

She also suggests limiting screentime.

Elzer said the stress levels she sees in kids is vastly increasing, so having that downtime away from your phone can make all the difference.

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