Talking to kids about suicide

Children can learn about suicide in a range of ways – they may overhear adult conversations, hear about it in the media, or have someone in their family, kinship group or community die by suicide. When a child needs to be informed of a death, it can be difficult to know what to say and how to explain it.

A first response may be to say nothing or avoid the conversation, but children can realise that something is happening around them even if they do not know exactly what. If the issue is not explained, the child might form the wrong idea.

This FACT SHEET provides some basic tips for telling a child about a suicide. It is designed specifically for parents or primary care-givers but the information may be useful for other adults. It is not meant to be comprehensive. If you need further advice or support you can refer to one of the services or resources included at the end of this document.

If you are supporting a youth or child that has said they want to die by suicide, it should be taken seriously. If risk of injury is imminent, call 000 for assistance.

If it is not a crisis situation, start by taking one or all of these steps below:

Talk to someone you trust – you don’t have to go through this alone.  Call your GP and make a double appointment for yourself and the young person to be able to talk about concerns and make a plan for next steps to get help for the young person.

At any time, you can Contact Lifeline – 13 11 14 (available 24/7)
You can talk about your concerns and get FREE confidential support.

If you believe their life is in danger – call 000 right now

Why does someone consider suicide?

People considering suicide often feel very isolated and lonely. They may feel that nobody can help them or understand them. They believe that suicide is the only way out of the difficulties that they are experiencing.  For more information see the download.

Download “Factsheet: What does it mean to be suicidal?” Factsheet_ps_what-does-it-mean-to-be-suicidal.pdf – Downloaded 46 times – 489 KB

What should I do if I know someone who is thinking of suicide?

Do something now: If you or someone you know is considering suicide, act immediately. Don’t assume that things will get better without help or that they will seek help on their own. Reaching out now could save a life.  For more information read the download.

Download “Tool kit: Help someone at risk of suicide” Toolkit_help-someone-at-risk-of-suicide-1.pdf – Downloaded 47 times – 698 KB

Feeling scared, sad or lonely?

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or having difficulty coping your first step is to contact your local GP for an appointment to talk things over.  Click here for more information on getting support locally.

Local services providing grief bereavement support

Headspace, Margaret River
Supports young people (12- 25 years)
Phone: 6164 0680
Hours: Tuesday 11 AM to 7 PM; Wednesday to Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Cost: Free

GP Down South, Margaret River Community Centre
Free counselling and care coordination for financially and socially disadvantaged clients, maximum 6 sessions.  All ages, no mental health care plan required, for people who self-report financial hardship.
Address: 33 Tunbridge Street
Phone: 9754 3662
Email: mhteam@gpdownsouth.com.au
Hours: Fridays only
Cost: Free

South West Grief and Loss Centre
Support, education and counselling across the SW.  Counselling can be done in person, home visits, by phone or online.
Phone: 1800 975 014 (Grief Connect Call Line)
Phone: 9731 5551
Email: connect@southwestgriefandlosscentre.com.au
Cost: Email for more information