Scroll down this page for information about:
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Traumatic Events
- Mental Health
- Cutting and Self Harm
Be prepared for a crisis, know who to turn to for support, have the right information and understand how to best convey it to your family. Substance abuse, both drugs and alcohol, are very real problems that you can’t hide from your child. Learn how to communicate the dangers of risky behavior in age-appropriate ways well before your child faces them directly. You need to know the warning signs if your child is in trouble and where to turn to for help. With frightening regularity another traumatic event is in the news, anticipating your child’s emotions and questions will help you provides reassurance and makes everyone feel safe.
If you, your child or someone you know is in crisis, reach out for help immediately.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention — Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to decreasing youth suicide. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for New Jersey’s youth ages 10-24. Parents, professionals and/or just concerned citizens can use the following resources for support and/or guidance related to suicide or suicide prevention.
New Jersey’s 24/7 Peer Support & Suicide Prevention Hotline:
What are the warning signs that someone may be at risk? If you are concerned about someone, ask yourself the following questions. Has your friend or family member shown or shared any of the following:
- Talking about wanting to die, be dead, or about suicide, or are they cutting or burning themselves?
- Feeling like things may never get better, seeming like they are in terrible emotional pain (like something is wrong deep inside but they can’t make it go away), or they are struggling to deal with a big loss in their life?
- Or is your gut telling you to be worried because they have withdrawn from everyone and everything, have become more worried or on edge, seem unusually angry, or just don’t seem normal to you?
For more detailed information about warning signs in adults, click here.
For more information about warning signs for youths, click here.
Are you a teen looking for help? If you’re down and feeling like there is no one to turn to, know that you are not alone. Call this hotline for someone to talk to: 1-855-654-6735
Is a friend in distress? How should you respond if you are worried about a friend? Here are some things that you can say and do to help:
- Be empathetic: ask your friend if he is okay and listen to them like a true friend.
- Tell your friend that you are worried and concerned about her and that they are not alone. If you are with her, stay with her until help arrives; don’t hesitate to reach out to an adult for help. Your friend may be upset at the time but it may prevent her from harming herself.
- Talk to an adult you trust about your concerns and direct the adult to this page listing warning signs in youth if the adult doesn’t know where to turn.
Click here for a resource guide for teens.
Are you a parent or caregiver concerned about a young person? Adolescence is a time of change, when young people may experience stress from many sources, including relationships with friends and family members and problems at school. Many high school students report thinking about suicide, and in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people ages 13 to 19 years.
For more information about warning signs in children and teens, click here.
It’s important to understand both the factors that increase the risk of suicide for teens as well as the factors that help protect them from suicide. Here are a few examples:
- Depression and other mental health problems
- Alcohol or drug use
- Feelings of social isolation
- Difficult life situations (abuse, bullying, poverty)
- Life skills (problem-solving, coping)
- Social support from family, friends, and others
- Positive school experiences
You can help increase an individual’s resiliency by strengthening protective factors and mitigating risk factors. Being in a teen’s corner to celebrate success and help navigate challenges is important. Teens often present a confident façade that hides vulnerability. Regardless of their bravado, teens need adult guidance and caring. Even if it seems like you might not be heard, persist in reminding her that you’re there for her.
The website for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center includes links to resources for teens and families: https://www.sprc.org/populations/adolescents
Link to an article to understand Why Predicting Suicide is a Difficult and Complex Challenge
It can be challenging to help your teen when he or she has a friend in crisis
Drugs and Alcohol
- Talking to your Teens About Marijuana
- Talking to Your Teens About Drinking
- Setting Limits Why Saying No may be the most important gift you give your children
- Emotional Regulation a User’s Guide
- Keeping Your Cool while parenting your teen
- Caring For the Caregiver
Cutting and Self-Harm
Cutting and self-harm is another way that teens may manage hard emotions. Here is a link for more information: