Suicide prevention resources available for Montana kids - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Suicide prevention resources available for Montana kids

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BUTTE- A community is gathering in support of a family who lost their 10-year-old son to suicide.

The Montana Standard reports that a fourth grader at Kennedy Elementary killed himself Sunday night.

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services reports a 60 percent increase between 1981 and 2000 in suicide rates for children between the ages of 5 and 14.

Counselor Perrin Lundgren says parents can look for signs.

"If you're noticing a change in your child where maybe their temperament was one way and now it's different, or if you're noticing them withdraw from friends or you," Lundgren says. 

It can be hard for people with depression or suicidal thoughts to reach out.

"Ask directly, openly and clearly about suicide," Lundren says. "'Are you having thoughts of suicide?'"

It's also important to talk to kids about a peer suicide if it should happen, helping them grieve without focusing too much on the manner of death. 

"Regardless of how a person is lost or how we lose a person, talking about grief is the most important thing. And if for some reason in that grief you think thoughts of suicide are present, ask."

Parents and kids can find resources 24/7 to help if you or a loved one are struggling with thoughts of suicide.

"It's better to ask... than having the pain of losing somebody."

Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 to ask for help or find out how you can offer help to a loved one. You can also chat with a counselor online here.

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