Supporting Young People with Suicidal Thoughts

Public Health has designed a guidance document that is aimed at anyone who works with children and young people in universal and early help services – for example GPs, nurses, health visitors and school nurses, teachers and teaching assistants, Children First Hub teams and voluntary sector organisations. It supports professionals in understanding risk factors and warning signs, talking about suicidal feelings with young people, and knowing where to seek further support.

Young people are likely to disclose difficult thoughts and feelings to someone they trust, not necessarily to a mental health ‘expert’. They might decide to talk to a GP, teacher, support worker, school nurse or an adult who helps at their sport or hobby. It can be difficult to know how to support a young person who is expressing suicidal thoughts, or who you are worried may be feeling suicidal, but it is important that everyone working with young people knows the warning signs and what to do next. This is general guidance, and your profession or agency may have protocols that supersede it. Follow them if so. This free, twenty-minute online training from the Zero Suicide Alliance is a great starting point for anyone working with young people.


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