Make Sure You ​Look Out For These Warning Signs Of Suicide In Kids

Mental health is a serious topic and it should be discussed sensitively, especially with kids. In the last two weeks, Tamil Nadu witnessed three suicide cases of class 12 students in Cuddalore, Tiruvallur, and Kallakurichi districts that have grabbed everyone’s attention.

According to the data by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2020, one student ended their life every 42 minutes, which means, that every day more than 34 students die by suicide. India’s adolescent and youth population which fall under the age of 25 accounts for 53.7% of the population.

The NCRB’s Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India (ADSI) report state that around 8.2% of students in the country died by suicide in 2020.

As parents, it is important to sit and talk to your kids and offer them a supportive environment. The only way we can bring the graph down is by preventing suicide and the first step towards it is by observing the signs.

Here are a few signs you can watch out for in kids –

  • Changes in sleeping habits (sleeping too much, too little, insomnia)
  • Overeating or eating too less
  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • Sense of hopelessness
  • Indulgence in self-harming behaviour
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Unexplained aches and pains in the body
  • Drop in academic performance
  • If a kid is coping with the loss of a family member or hears about tragic events, it is natural for them to question death. But if the kid is too preoccupied with death, researching ways to die, or uses phrases like – “You won’t miss me when I die”, “I wish I was dead”, don’t ignore the signs.

Not all kids may verbally communicate their feelings. But, they are likely to resort to writing or drawing about them. Observe what your child writes or draws.

Certain factors can increase the risk of suicidal ideation in children like –

  • Suicide attempt by a family member
  • Witness violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Bullying
  • Made to feel like a burden

Communication is a two-way road. Initiate the conversation and ask your child the difficult questions, “Are you sad?”, “Are you trying to hurt yourself?”, “Are you thinking about death?” These questions will portray your concern for your kid.

Don’t deal with this alone. Seek immediate help from a licensed mental health practitioner and give your child the love and support they deserve.

Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, help is out there. Reach out to 1800-599-0019, a 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline, Kiran.

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