World Suicide Prevention Day and The Brains of Young Children

We can talk with kids about brain health in the same way we talk to them about their little bodies. “The brain creates thoughts and sometimes these thoughts are confusing.”
All brains are capable of suicidal thoughts. It’s part of the human condition. We can stop the increase in suicide by talking with very young children about the brain.
I wrote an article for my Psychology Today blog on the topic called.

3 Strategies to Talk With Kids About Suicidal Thoughts

Here is an excerpt and then the link to the article:
by Julie A. Fast 

A few months ago after a intense reaction to a sleep medication, I had the persistent idea I should jump out of my window.

The idea came to me in a wave of images, thoughts and feelings all at once. As though I were watching a movie, I saw myself jump out of the window. I then heard a voice say, “You should jump out of your window.” And finally, I had the intense feeling that everything really would be a lot better if I jumped out of my window.

Luckily, as a person originally diagnosed with bipolar disorder and later a schizoaffective diagnosis, I have over 30 years of living with suicidal thoughts and recognized that I was sick and got help. It was a terrible and scary experience, but I have a mental illness and know it’s simply the way my brain works.

Imagine what it’s like for a child to go through such a suicidal episode where they hear, see and feel the same sensations as adults and yet there is zero life experience to help them through the episode. Just as I taught myself to manage suicidal thoughts, adults can teach very young children to do the same. The goal is shining a light on the symptoms, explaining that they are a normal part of a misfiring brain and then having a plan in place to help the child find stability.  We can do all of this while keeping a child safe and nurtured.

Here are the three strategies…

Click here to read the rest of the article on the Psychology Today website.  Very young children do have suicidal thoughts. You can use The Health Cards to help with these symptoms and teach a child that suicidal thoughts are normal and we can learn to manage and prevent suicidal thoughts.


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