Talking to teens crucial in preventing suicides

    Parents and teens in Delaware County and beyond are shaken by the suicides of two teenage girls who stepped in front of an Amtrak train last Thursday. Experts urge parents to discuss this topic with their kids.

    Parents and teens in Delaware County and beyond are shaken by the suicides of two teenage girls who stepped in front of an Amtrak train last Thursday. Experts urge parents to discuss this topic with their kids.

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    Adolescents typically think about deep philosophical questions says Dr. Guy Diamond of Philadelphia’s Children’s Hospital – who they are, the meaning of life, and death. Losing a peer to suicide can send shockwaves through their circle of friends, and on rare occasions inspire copy cat incidents. Diamond works with suicidal youth in a family therapy setting. He says when a community experiences a teen suicide, parents have to start a dialog, both to keep kids safe and help them cope:

    Diamond: You can’t rush in and take over – “you have to stay home for the next month”, but there does need to be some open communication, there does need to be some conversation at the table. Even if kids don’t say a whole lot, to know that their parents are open to talking about it, are thinking about it themselves, are deeply moved by it, it helps deepen kids’ sensibility of oh – this has deep ramifications.

    Other experts say communities and schools have to encourage teens to come forward if they hear about a kid expressing suicidal thoughts.

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