Latayne’s Corner: What if a Teen You Know is Considering Suicide?

What if a Teen You Know is Considering Suicide?

by Latayne C. Scott, PhD.

One myth that persists is that if someone is considering taking his or her life and talks about it, that engaging that person in conversation will increase the probability of suicide.

That’s simply not true, says Dr. Gregory Plemmons, author of a new study on teens and suicide. In fact, a parent can help prevent suicide by keeping communication open. He says that talking has “never been shown” to increase the risk of a teen taking his or her life. He also suggests that talking to a family doctor or other health professional can help.

The trend that the study revealed, covering kids aged 5 to 17 over the years 2008 to 2015, is troubling. During that time, the number doubled of kids hospitalized for suicidal thoughts and/or attempting suicide.

But another researcher said that one factor that may have affected this dramatic increase is that there are many more resources for a troubled teen than there were in 2008 when the study began. However, this is sometimes cancelled out by the fact that there’s been a dramatic increase in public bullying on the Internet and other emerging risk factors.

What should you watch for in your teen? If he or she becomes isolated (especially if accompanied by a noticeable increase in use of electronic devices), doesn’t seem to enjoy activities or people that she enjoyed in the past, or if eating or sleeping habits change, it’s time for a conversation.

Show and say your love for your child. Ask direct questions about the changes that you have seen. Ask if he or she is thinking about suicide or other means of self-harm. Tell him or her that you want to understand and listen, not judge. And suggest a counselor or family doctor or other trusted adult if he or she would be more comfortable talking with others.

--Dr. Scott and Dr. Beth Robinson are the authors of Protecting Your Child From Predators: How to Recognize and Respond to Sexual Danger (Bethany, 2019). This article also appears on

About the Author

Latayne C. Scott (Distinguished Christian Service Award, Pepperdine University) writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed novel A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. Her first book, The Mormon Mirage--also controversial-- has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books.

One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom). Her first novel, Latter-day Cipher, is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are.... controversial.

She's also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she's not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

Connect with Latayne at her blog, on Facebook: Author Latayne C Scott, and on Twitter.

You can read Latayne’s column on the 4th Friday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.

#LatayneCScott #TeenDepression #TeenSuicide #SuicidePrevention

Young Living Banner.Lavender.jpg
Gillette on Demand.jpg
Boxed Wholesale Delivered
Ambit Energy
Finally Family Homes.LOGO.jpg
Rakuten Ebates.jpg

© Joanne Troppello and Mustard Seed Sentinel, 2019. Unauthorized usage or duplication of any content published on this website without specific written permission from the site owner is strictly prohibited. With appropriate and specific guidance, excerpts and links may be used provided full definitive credit is given to Joanne Troppello, the contributor, and Mustard Seed Sentinel. Publication start date March 2016. MSS is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

DISCLAIMER: MSS reserves the right to remove comments on articles and in the forum that are not in line with our family-friendly brand and faith-based Christian magazine theme. Please make every effort to comment on articles and participate in the chat rooms in a friendly way that is devoid of profanity and hateful speech. MSS reserves the right to decline site membership (both the free membership and paid subscription membership) to any members who are violating our requests to keep this online community family-friendly. No spam links or comments will be allowed. Spam, profanity, and hateful speech will be deleted.

Freelance content submissions are always welcome and can be submitted through the submit button on the top of the Home Page underneath the header. All submissions are subject to review and possible rejection if the content does not meet quality standards. Edits may be suggested or required for some submissions. At this time, compensation is not given for submissions. However, as the Mustard Seed Sentinel readership grows, financial compensation will be provided for freelancers who submit appropriate and acceptable content for publication, such as the following: author interviews they've completed, guest blogs, or news articles. All freelancers will have their byline listed. NOTE: Mustard Seed Sentinel is a family-friendly publication and only appropriate faith-based content will be accepted.

This magazine is available for free online.

If you like our content and want to support

this publication, feel free to donate below.

Our paid subscription page is for paying members only. Engaging content, educational information, and interactive activities like webinars, as well as podcasts, are available for these paying members.

Publication of Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC