Suicide prevention- Parents/ Carers

Updated: 25/08/16

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Knowing that someone we care about is feeling suicidal can be emotionally and physically draining. It is important to look after your own health and to make time to get support and advice for yourself too.

You are not alone: attempted suicide is far more common than most of us realise. In the UK, thousands of young people are admitted to accident and emergency departments each year because they have tried to kill themselves. Although most people who attempt suicide survive, many remain at high risk of taking their own life for quite some time afterwards. This means that any suicide attempt, however minor it appears to be, should be taken seriously.

Suicidal thoughts can coincide with times of change: whether these changes are ‘good’ (like getting married or starting a new job), or ‘bad’ (such as someone dying or the end of a relationship). Quite often two or three different things will have happened, each of them causing considerable stress. For some people there may be no apparent reason for these thoughts.
The circumstances leading up to a suicide attempt are different for everybody, and the reasons may never be fully explained or understood.


Potentially, all suicides can be prevented. If you are concerned about a young person, please talk to them to try and find out if they are at very high risk.

You could ask questions such as is something troubling you, can you tell me what it is, have you felt like ending your life, have you ever felt like hurting yourself, are you currently thinking about this, do you have a plan, what is stopping you from acting on it?

Please get help, contact the young person’s G.P. or their school. You might also want to find out from his/her friends if he/she has been talking about taking his/her own life. If you think there is an imminent risk, please call 999.

You may find these websites useful:

This app might also be helpful: Stay Alive