Suicide prevention: Parents should talk with children at a young age | KOB 4

Suicide prevention: Parents should talk with children at a young age

Ryan Laughlin
February 07, 2019 05:04 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The suicide of an 11-year-old New Mexico girl stunned many people in her community.


Delia Watson said she was bullied at school and online.

Medical experts believe the key to stopping bullying and preventing suicide is the children themselves.

Dr. Shawn Sidhu says schools that empower children to run peer outreach programs often see the best results.

"If adults come in and they tell kids what they think the answers should be, the kids just ignore them but if they involve the kids, it can be very helpful," Dr. Sidhu said.

Parents also play a key role in suicide prevention.

“A lot of the time people are concerned that if they talk about suicide, it will increase the chance their child will think about suicide or die by suicide. The research actually shows the exact opposite,” Dr. Sidhu said.

Children as young six or seven years old understand the concept of death, according to Dr. Sidhu.

“You can always start with a very open-ended question, like, ‘how are you or how have you been,’” Dr. Sidhu suggested. “Then, if you get the sense that someone is feeling down or feeling sad, you can say, ‘have you ever thought life isn't worth living,’ or ‘have you ever thought you'd want to end your life?’"

Dr. Sidhu said that type of dialogue has the potential to help someone.

Many New Mexican likely need help.

The state consistently has about a 50 percent higher rate of suicide than the rest of the country.

List of resources to stop bullying and suicide:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
National Alliance on Mental Illness


Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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