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Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention - Talking to Kids (T2K) about Suicide

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How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family


If there has been a recent suicide attempt in your family, this may be one of the toughest experiences you and your children may ever face. It is important to take care of yourself, so that you are better able to care for your child.

This guide is intended to provide you with some of that support, and also share other resources that may be helpful for you now and as your family recovers. The guide is not intended to replace professional mental health advice. In fact, it may be best to use this along with professional support if you or your child is struggling with how to talk about this difficult subject.

Each of the buttons (preschooler, school age and teenager) above will take you a page that provides information and ideas specific to the age group. Each page includes sections related to:

  • Why talking about a suicide attempt is important
  • Ideas about when you should talk about an attempt
  • Ideas on how much information to share
  • Ways to support a child (preschooler, school age and teenager); and,
  • Examples on what to say and how you might say it.

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If you have used the Talking to Children about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family we'd like you to complete a short survey so we can make the guides better. We'd like to know how the guides were used, which guides were used and what would make them better. Take the confidential survey.



How to Talk to a Child about a Suicide Attempt in Your Family

Also, there are videos for each individual age group:

Order the Free Full-Color 24 Page Guide


There is a new 24 page full color booklet that can be ordered for free that combines all age groups. The 24 page, full color booklet includes all three developmental groups, and the DVD. This print booklet is available in English and in Spanish.



Find extra support and access to professional guidance from the below resources.

General Resources


The Coalition to Support Grieving Students —

Mental Health America —

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) —

SAMSHA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator —

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Family Resources —

National Child Traumatic Stress Network —

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline —

Grief Camps for kids

Military and Veteran Resources

VA South Central MIRECC —

Give an Hour —

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)—

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) for Youth —

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) for Young Adults (ages 18-25) —

NAMI Veterans & Military Resource Center —

Vet Center Program —

Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1) —

Crisis Resources

If you feel you are in crisis, whether or not you are thinking about suicide, please call the Lifeline. People have called the Lifeline for help with substance use, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexuality, illness, coping with abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and loneliness.


Lifeline — 1-800-273-TALK (8255) | Lifeline Chat Service


If you are a Veteran or concerned about one, please call the Veterans Crisis Line.


Veterans Crisis Line — 1-800-273-8255, then Press 1 | Text: 838255 | Confidential Veterans Chat


Please visit our page of acknowledgements, those who helped make this project a success.

Last Updated 4 March 2024