(2022, September) | Available in English and Spanish | Useful to Parent Centers and other organizations involved with families who have a member at risk of suicide, and to families themselves


When kids in distress express suicidal thoughts or feelings, therapists often work with them—and their parents—to create what is called a safety plan. A safety plan is a document that spells out a series of things the child agrees to do, if they feel overwhelmed, to keep from harming themselves. Parents agree to things they will do to make their child’s environment safer.

September is Suicide Awareness Month, and the Child Mind Institute is offering a collection of articles explaining how safety planning can help deter teen suicides, which are often impulsive, by steering kids away from harming themselves until the urge passes. The collection also offers information about signs a child might be suicidal and steps to take if you’re worried that a child might be having suicidal thoughts. With teenage depression and anxiety on the rise, it’s important for all of us to be proactive when children are in distress.

What’s in the Collection?

Here’s a list of the articles within the collection. All are available in English and Spanish.

What Is a Safety Plan?
An agreement aimed at keeping kids at risk for suicide from harming themselves.
Spanish: https://childmind.org/es/articulo/que-es-un-plan-de-seguridad/

Signs a Child Might Be Suicidal
What to watch out for and how to help.
Spanish: https://childmind.org/es/articulo/senales-de-que-un-nino-podria-tener-tendencias-suicidas/

What Are the Symptoms of Depression in Teenagers?
Signs your child might be more than moody.
Spanish: https://childmind.org/es/articulo/cuales-son-los-sintomas-de-depresion-en-los-adolescentes/

What to Do if You’re Worried About Suicide
Do talk to your child about it. Don’t tell them they shouldn’t feel that way.
Spanish: https://childmind.org/es/articulo/hacer-suicidio-preocupa/

DBT: What Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?
A treatment for teenagers with serious trouble managing emotions, including suicidal feelings.
Spanish: https://childmind.org/es/articulo/dbt-que-es-la-terapia-dialectica-conductual/

Taking a Child to the Emergency Room
What the ER can (and can’t) do for your child in a psychiatric emergency.
Spanish: https://childmind.org/es/articulo/llevar-al-nino-la-sala-de-emergencias/

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