National Suicide Prevention Week is September 7-13, and Family Service & Guidance Center wants to remind parents about the role they can play in preventing a tragedy.
“Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among teens in Kansas,” Brenda Mills, FSGC Chief Executive Officer, said. “Anytime a child or teen threatens or attempts suicide, parents should take that very seriously. Don’t wait and hope things get better. Call someone who can help.”
Parents should be aware of warning signs, including:
Talking about suicide or death in general
Talking about “going away”
Referring to things they “won’t be needing” and giving things away
Talking about feeling hopeless or guilty
Pulling away from friends and family
Losing interest in favorite activities
Changes in eating and sleeping habits
Drug use, drinking or self-harm
Mills said that a child or adolescent engaging in any of these activities may not necessarily be suicidal, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.
“I would always encourage a parent to call Family Service & Guidance Center to get help in accurately assessing their child’s risk of suicide,” she said.
Family Service & Guidance Center’s crisis experts are available to address parents’ concerns 24 hours a day, seven days a week. FSGC’s number is 785.232.5005. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, however, parents should always call 911.
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The FSGC Foundation was formed in 2009 to ensure the agency’s long term viability, regardless of funding cuts or other economic uncertainties. Each year, the Foundation awards thousands of dollars in needed funds to improve and enhance various FSGC services and programs.