Parenting Tips with Belinda: Youth Suicide Crisis

Studio 4

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) –Teen suicide isn’t a topic that people like to discuss, but it’s a statistic that’s been rising in recent years.

Belinda Crelia-Palacios, Executive Director of the Amarillo Children’s Home has some parenting tips for parents.

She says one solution to lessening teen suicide is to increase the time and money to identify kids who are vulnerable, get them help and teaching teens what they can do in a crisis saying it’s important to start early.

Palacios also has the following advice:

Two factors that can lead to depression/anxiety/suicide risk which can be modified/controlled are social media and how teens/young adults communicate with peers. Kids never “disconnect. They go to bed with smartphones and many things can be going on with this practice (sleep deprivation, cyberbullying, envy, etc.)

· Rise in attempted and completed suicides by young people correlates directly with access to smartphones.

o Developmentally these ages are difficult, but it’s taken to a new level by phones/ social media and the constant pressure to be online.

o In school-age kids it a rise in suicide attempts happened during the months kids are in school (Sept-Dec and Jan-May). This patten is not found with adults.

· With social media there is less facetime with friends. Who is popular is now quantifiable by how many people are following you and how many likes you receive.

· Social media sees a lot of negativities, competition, jockeying for status and unfiltered access to sites giving tips on how to harm self.

· Social media can breed complex issues and young brains are not adept at dealing with these.

Not enough sleep is another issue undermining resilience in today’s teens.

· Several studies have found a link between problematic internet/social media use and sleep disturbance amount youth. These associations can contribute to depressive symptoms for this group.

· Having phones in bedrooms results in less sleep and poorer sleep quality.

o Tempting to keep looking at phone, blue light keeps the brain thinking it’s daytime, psychologically stimulating, brain can’t slow down and relax.

What parents can do:

· Have kids put up the phones an hour before bedtime.

· Set limits on technology use.

· Check in with teens regularly with how they are feeling and what is going on in their life.

· Know who their friends, boy/girlfriends are and what their relationships are like.

· Have the hard discussions with your kids… do you/have you ever felt like hurting yourself, do you think about dying. We have to teach our kids to talk about their emotions early in life.

· Parents need to control any possible means of a youth hurting themselves, for most teen suicides are impulsive acts.

There is a lot of good with technology and social media. However, like everything else it can be used to excess causing lots of issues. Parents monitoring this early on can lead our kids to having a more healthy relationship with technology and social media.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Video Forecast

Don't Miss