Whether or not you have a history of mental illness, talk to your children. Let them know that, while feelings like hopelessness, ennui, and irrational anger are normal in small doses, if they feel that way a lot of the time, they can get help. Let them know they never have to be ashamed of a disease.
Let them know depression is the leading cause of disability for our entire planet, and it’s real, and it’s important to ask for help, to ask you for help, and that you will always help them.
Learn the warning signs for depression and suicide, and talk to your kids. Talk to them before you have to talk to them. And most importantly of all, listen.
Yes, children commit suicide too, and just like we do with adults, we need to recognize kids who are dealing with mental health issues, get them help, and make sure they know help is available.