This webinar will walk teachers through some steps they can take to talk to parents about a child considering suicide.

PowerPoint Slides (PDF)

Further Reading


Help Guide – Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents

SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voice of Education) – Youth Depression

Centre for Suicide Prevention – Teen Suicide: Is there an Epidemic?

American Psychological Association – Suicidal Behaviour in Children and Adolescents

Huffington Post – What do I do if my teen is thinking about suicide?


Brotherson, S. & Anderson, A. (2006). Talking to children about suicide. Fargo, ND: NDSU Extension Service.

Harpin, S., Kenyon, D., Kools, S., Bearinger, L. & Ireland, M. (2013). Correlates of emotional distress in out-of-home youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 26 (2): 110-118.
Suicidality was strongly associated with emotional distress among these young people. Providers working with young people in out-of-home settings should assess for both indicators of mental health distress and suicidal thinking.

Kloos, A., Collins, R., Weller, R. & Weller, E. (2007). Suicide in preadolescents: Who is at risk? Current Psychiatry Reports 9 (2): 89-93.
Research article exploring suicidal behavior in preadolescent children. Highlights the challenge of assessing suicidal children.

Kuramoto, S., Runeson, B., Stuart, E., Lichtenstein, P. & Wilcox, H. (2013). Time to hospitalization for suicide attempt by the timing of parental suicide during offspring early development. JAMA Psychiatry 70 (2): 149-157.
Offspring who lost a parent to suicide in childhood and young adulthood had earlier onset of hospitalization for suicide attempt compared with offspring who lost a parent to an unintentional injury.

Pompili, M., Mancinelli, I., Girardi, P., Ruberto, A. & Tatarelli, R. (2005). Childhood suicide: A major issue in pediatric health care. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 28: 63-68.
Risk factors for suicide must be evaluated when dealing with children in primary and secondary care. Adverse life events in combination with other factors, such as depression, may lead to suicide.

Ranahan, P. (2013). Being With: Child and youth care professionals’ practice with suicidal adolescents. Relational Child and Youth Care Practice 26 (1): 6-17.
Drawing on attending skills, holistically caring for the adolescent by having awareness of their needs beyond suicide, and functioning in-between the provision of care by other service providers are all aspects of child and youth care professionals’ mental health literacy practice of Being With.

Roche, A., Giner, L. & Zalsman, G. (2005). Suicide in early childhood: A brief review. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 17 (3): 221-224.
In discussing the risk factors concludes that reducing the risk for youth suicide requires evaluating and treating family psychopathology as well as that of the prepubertal child.

Souza, L., Silva, R., Jansen, K. Kuhn, R., Horta, B. & Pinheiro, R. (2009). Suicidal ideation in adolescents aged 11 to 15 years: Prevalence and associated factors. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria 32 (1): 37-41.
Because suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are associated with increased risk for future completed suicide, interventions must be established early. Prevention strategies must target mainly sexually active female teenagers that present symptoms indicative of mental health problems and substance use.

Timmons, K., Selby, E., Lewinsohn, P. & Joiner, T. (2011). Parental displacement and adolescent suicidality: Exploring the role of failed belonging. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 40 (6): 807-817.
Events causing displacement from parents – such as parental death, abandonment of the adolescent, or divorce – represent a risk factor for adolescent suicide. Adolescents who experienced both displacement and low levels of belonging had the highest risk for suicide.

Tishler, C., Reiss, N. & Rhodes, A. (2007). Suicidal behavior in children younger than twelve: A diagnostic challenge for emergency department personnel. Academic Emergency Medicine 14 (9): 810-818.
Suicide attempts and ideation do occur in prepubertal children, and such behavior can serve as a precursor to future suicide attempts.