The devastating statistics on teen suicide are startling, and should be taken seriously by any parent, especially if your child has existing mental health issues. Suicide is, sadly, the second leading cause of death (after traffic fatalities) for teenagers in the U.S., accounting for eight deaths per 100,000 teens.
Building resiliency in kids with mental health challenges is a year-round process, but the summer months can prove to be especially challenging. The structure of the school day is lacking. So is access to the school’s resources for helping kids to cope with both new issues that might crop up and any that are ongoing. As always, the key is providing a positive environment that avoids judgment in favor of nurturing; it’s also important to be an active listener when talking with your kids.
Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, is one of the most important skills we can nurture in our children.