When our babies are born we make sure they have the best of everything. We make sure they go to their doctor visits. We enroll them in the best schools we can. Make sure their interests are fostered with basketball and guitar lessons. We take them to church. But do we talk to them, really talk to them about their mental health? Talking to your kids about mental health awareness could be the most important thing you do.
The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention has started its “Talk Away The Dark” initiative. It is a crucial, possibly life-saving move to really talk to our kids about how they are doing on the inside. “Talk The Dark Away” recognizes the hope of starting open and honest conversations very early on with your kids. It can and will make a difference in their mental wellness. Talking about suicide is the first step toward preventing it.
Suicide is a leading cause of death among teenagers. It is hard for me to say the word. We lost our Aiden after his mental illness and obsessive-compulsive disorder led him to that fatal final decision. Our beautiful 16-year-old boy is gone and although our faith assures us we will be reunited with him again, we miss him. We ache for him and the wonderful future he could have had. To learn more about mental health resources in North Carolina get details here.
A way to help prevent suicide is simple. We must start talking with our children and ensure they are taking care of their mental health just like we do their physical and spiritual health. Here are a few conversation starters according to the AFSP. Ask your teenagers how they feel about the future, even how they feel about tomorrow. Ask them to tell you something they are looking forward to. Who do you reach out to if you are stressed? To learn more about kids’ mental health awareness and suicide prevention, visit American Foundation for Suicide Prevention right here.