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How to identify warning signs and talk to your teen about suicide

kids in hallway
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio file photo
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents.

Any news story about a teen dying by suicide tears a hole in our hearts. How did it come to this? Were there warning signs? Would I know if my teen struggled with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide?

Michigan State University psychiatrist Dr. Farha Abbasi joined Stateside to talk about what we can do to prevent suicide, the third-leading cause of death among adolescents.
(If you or someone you know is considering suicide, call theNational Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can find more Michigan resources for mental health crises listed by county here.) 

It's a very difficult topic to discuss, either on a radio show or with your kids, but according to Abbasi, bringing the issue out in the open is not dangerous.

"One thing I would really like to emphasize here is talking about [suicide] is never a trigger," Abbasi said. "Actually, it is highly recommended, because these kids tend to isolate and would hide, would not like to talk about it openly. So that's a myth that talking about it is a risk."

Listen to the full interview above to learn about some of the warning signs to look for in teens and to hear Abbasi's advice for how to start a conversation about suicide with a child.

Minding Michigan is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunesGoogle Play, or with this RSS link)

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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