Support Children And Young People After Suicide

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Support Children And Young People After Suicide
Support Children And Young People After Suicide
Video: Support Children And Young People After Suicide
Video: Parents of teens who died by suicide share grief and advice 2023, February
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Support children and young people after suicide

The grief process of children and adolescents is different from that of adults. With an open ear and showing feelings, you create an atmosphere that offers support and security. As a caregiver, you have a great responsibility. Nevertheless, take good care of yourself, you don't have to do everything on your own.

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How do I tell my child?

Especially with children, it is often difficult to find the right words to deal with the subject of suicide. Still, it is better to tell the truth. Depending on the age and level of development, details can be left out. When talking to children, it is helpful to use their questions as a guide. Do not resort to white lies, as this can lead to a loss of trust. In addition, it is important for the mourning process to know how a person died. For the caregiver themselves, it can be a great relief not to have to hide the truth. In the brochure of the Forum for Suicide Prevention and Research Zurich: “Help the children. How you can support children after a suicide… "You will find advicehow to find the right words and prepare children for farewell and funeral.

Children and young people grieve differently

Children usually do not mourn all the time, but rather erratically. Sometimes you don't even notice them at first. Children also protect themselves from being overwhelmed by playing or by hiding information (e.g. looking away or listening). They often express their feelings through behavior (e.g. in game scenes where death occurs). Wetting or other behavioral problems can also show up in children after a stressful event. In many cases, children particularly seek the closeness of the remaining caregiver and are afraid of losing them too. It is best to be clear about when and why you are absent. In this way your child can better classify your absence. Children and young people should be given space to talk about their feelings (e.g. sadness, anger, feelings of guilt, despair) and thoughts and to ask questions.However, young people often prefer to talk about stressful events with their peers. Mourning shouldn't be a “must”, but should come and go as it is felt individually. There is no single “right” way to grieve, either for children or adults.

Support in everyday life

Pay attention to the usual daily routines (e.g. kindergarten, school, hobbies, dinner together). Also show an active willingness to talk: Children and young people need time and an open counterpart in order to deal with topics such as suicide, death and grief in their own way. In this way, you can recognize the respective needs or a deterioration in the emotional state of your child as early as possible. More information on professional support offers can be found under crisis phones & emergency numbers as well as under crisis facilities and psychosocial support offers.

Take care of yourself as a caregiver

Regularity gives security and stability. This also applies to adult relatives. It takes a lot of strength to be there for children and adolescents after a suicide. However, it also conveys a purpose in life. However, your own grief should not be neglected. Crying in front of children is not always easy. However, you usually feel how you are anyway. In addition, parents are role models, they show that it is okay to show feelings and cry. Get help from family or friends. You don't have to do everything by yourself. If this support is not sufficient, take advantage of professional help as soon as possible.

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