TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains discussion on the topic of suicide and mental health.
A mom writes in asking for advice about her 10-year-old son. She says she recently found messages her son sent his friend in which he expressed that he is depressed and “sometimes wanted to die.” This mom is not sure how seriously she should take the messages or how to go about getting help for her son if he needs it.
A member of the community asks:
“*Trigger warning: Suicide* Needing advice about my 10-year-old son
I really need parenting advice right now. I found messages between my 10-year-old son and his friend… my son said he was depressed and sometimes wanted to die. I don’t think he is actually suicidal, but at the same time, this isn’t something I want to take lightly at all.
He seems so happy all the time and is always making jokes, and I know that could mean on the inside he feels some type of way. How should I handle this? I want to be there for him, and if he needs help, I want to get it for him, but where do I start?”
Community Advice for This Mom Who Is Worried Her 10-Year-Old Son May Be Suicidal
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“First don’t tell him you found his message. Use the fact that there’s no school at this time and bring it up as part of the school plan for the day. Most of all, be honest and let him know that you are always there for him no matter what he needs, anytime, anywhere no limits. Tell him you love him a lot, it can never be said often enough.”
“Please step in and help. I lost my dad to suicide at 17 and it’s the worst pain I’m still dealing with. Talk to him, get him in therapy. Whatever you do just don’t stand by and do nothing. Good luck.”
“You are all the help he needs. Love him, show him love. Allow a safe space for him to be able to talk with you about stuff without judgment or opinion. Openly talk about the effects of suicide, how everyone has gray days & they DO pass & that if he’s having trouble with them passing that you are there to help him find solutions.”
“I just want to say… One of my best friends killed himself and he was the happiest person you’d ever meet. No one knew he was sad. He held it all in. Get him help NOW.”
“Contact his pediatrician for a referral to a child psychologist.”
“Get him into counseling, ASAP! A depressed child is easier to deal with than a broken adult. Broken adults are hard to fix, I speak from experience… I was that “happy” kid who secretly wanted to end everything who is now a broken adult. Sort it out now, and maybe he can live a normal life.”
“Counseling asap. Do not disregard his comments or hide that you found them, he NEEDS support. You don’t want to regret not doing everything you could to address this.”
“Please take it seriously! It’s often the people who appear fine and cheery on the outside who end up taking their lives. If he’s saying he’s depressed and wants to die, you have to assume he’s suicidal. You have to. I think it’s important to address that you saw those messages. Not in a confrontational way, but just to tell him you love him dearly and want him to know he can confide in you too. Communication is the most important thing you can open up to him right now. If he doesn’t feel comfortable talking to you, ask if he’d feel better about having his own person (like a counselor) to chat with about his feelings.”
A Note From Mamas Uncut
While we are so appreciative of the helpful advice and suggestions from the community, we urge anyone who is dealing — or knows anyone dealing — with suicidal thoughts or other major mental health issues, to please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) ASAP for resources and help.
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