What do I do if my child is threatening to hurt themselves or I am afraid they are suicidal?

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If you are concerned about your child's immediate safety call 911. Tell the operator your concerns and fears. The police will come out and help get your child to a hospital or mental health center. In the meantime, do not leave your child alone. (You may even need to follow him or her into the bathroom.) Remove all hazardous materials from the house or store them out of your child's reach. This includes guns, large knifes, razor blades, over the counter and prescription pills, ropes, etc. If your child has mentioned a specific way to kill themselves, pay particular attention to the materials needed. Remove all the ways or means that your child could use to die by suicide.


If your child will cooperate, you can take them to the emergency room. A doctor will speak with you, evaluate the situation and make recommendations. If it is determined that he or she needs to be kept safe in the hospital, the police or emergency room will help you.


As a parent, this can be a scary and lonely night. Please remember, there are places to go for help and people waiting to help you. Trust your instinct. If you feel like something is going on with your child, then it probably is. If you are concerned about your child's safety, act on that concern.