What to do if your teenager is suicidal

girl with short blonde hair
girl with short blonde hair

girl with short blonde hair

If you have found out or are concerned that your teenager is suicidal, you need to act now.

Take immediate action now

  • Find out if your child has a plan and/or the means to end their life. If necessary, you may need to remove items from the home.
  • If they do have a plan and the danger is imminent, do not leave them alone until you are sure that they are safe. Read Talk to your teenager about suicide for some ideas on initiating a conversation with them.
  • Taking them to the emergency department at the hospital can help you keep them safe.
  • If they disappear call the police on 000.

What to do next

When the immediate danger has passed or they have not indicated specific plans to end their life, it is essential that you and your child seek help. Telephone support services such as Lifeline, Kids Helpline or Suicide Callback Service can offer support for your teenager 24/7. 

You might also consider making an appointment with a GP or Headspace centre to discuss what your teenager has been experiencing and together develop a mental health plan. With a mental health plan, Medicare allows for sessions with a psychologist, which can help your teenager work through the underlying distress or causes of suicidal thoughts. The GP will also suggest other interventions such as medication if it is necessary. You and your child need to make some big decisions together for them to work towards being well again.

For other ways you can support your child, check out the section, Things to try: avoiding suicide.

Page last review by ReachOut Parents Clinical Advisory Group on

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