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How Do I Know If My Child Has A Problem?

Signs & Symptoms of Suicide Ideations

 

DECLINE IN SCHOOL PERFORMANCE:

  • Worsening school attendance
  • A recent decline in grades
  • Failure to inform parents of school events, including requests for parents to meet with teachers, etc.
  • Loss of interest in school activities, including dropping out of extracurricular activities, athletics, clubs etc.
  • School staff reports concerns about the student

 

PEER RELATIONSHIPS:

  • Withdrawal from friends
  • Feelings that friends aren’t there for them
  • Secrecy with parents regarding social media with friends
  • Posts on social media that concern friends or others

 

PERSONALITY CHANGES, EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS:

  • Self-reports of depression/anxiety/other mental health conditions
  • Expresses hopelessness about the current situation or the future
  • Has expressed an interest in counseling
  • May experience frequent and/or extreme highs and lows
  • General change in mood toward a more depressed and negative outlook
  • Withdrawal from family members or others they care about
  • Is more secretive, isolates in room, withdraws into music
  • May be defensive when asked about personal problems, may not be able to identify what is wrong
  • Exhibits a loss of energy, initiative, motivation, interest or enthusiasm
  • Confused thinking, inability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears, worries, or feelings of guilt
  • Inability to cope with daily stress
  • Crying spells
  • Suicidal thinking

 

PHYSICAL PROBLEMS:

  • Appears tired or depressed
  • Major changes in eating (either too much or too little)
  • Major changes in sleeping habits (either too much or too little)
  • Decline in personal hygiene; bathes infrequently, doesn’t change clothes
  • Complexion appears unhealthy
  • Complaint of physical pains (stomach aches, headaches, body pains)
  • Self-harm behavior (cutting)

 

ALCOHOL/DRUG-SPECIFIC INDICATORS:

  • May start drinking alcohol or using other drugs as an escape from emotional pain
  • Family liquor supply dwindles, disappears, or gets watered down
  • Medications begin to disappear from the family medicine cabinet

 

FAMILY HISTORY:

  • Prior history of suicide attempt by the student or someone in the family
  • Family history of depression
  • Trauma history (physical, emotional, sexual or witness to violence history)
  • Avoids contact with family members: goes immediately to room when returning home, is secretive about friends, phone activity or whereabouts

 

MAKING SUICIDAL STATEMENTS:

  • “I just can’t do this anymore”
  • “You’d be better off without me.”
  • “What’s the point of living?”
  • “Here, take this. I won’t be needing it anymore.”
  • “Pretty soon you won’t have to worry about me.”
  • “Who cares if I was dead?”
  • “I wish I were dead.”
  • “I’m going to end it all.”
  • “I’ve decided to kill myself.”
  • “If [such and such] doesn’t happen, I’ll kill myself.”

 

HOME ENVIRONMENT:

  • Access to weapons
  • Access to medications

 

In the event of an emergency or if you feel your child is in immediate danger, please contact local authorities or go to your nearest Emergency Room for assistance if it is safe to do so. 

 

Timothy Lena, MSW, CPS                                      Kelley Binette, MSW, MLADC

Timberlane Regional High School                        Timberlane Regional Middle School

(603) 382 – 6541 x 3408                                             (603) 382 – 7131 x 4926

Timothy.Lena@timberlane.net                                  Kelley.Binette@timberlane.net

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