May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with adolescent suicides on the rise, it may be a chance for parents to reach out to their kids and make sure lines of communication are open.
FOX's Lisa Brady has more in this week's FOX on Family:
The Netflix series '13 Reasons Why' got people talking about a growing problem, teen suicide:
(Dr. Skillings) "Unfortunately for adolescents, and the way they measure this is like age 10-24, suicide is actually now the second cause of death behind accidents; it's about 17 percent of all adolescent deaths."
Doctor Jared Skillings, Chief of Psychology for Spectrum Health, says the 24-hour, inescapable nature of social media can add to a sense of hopelessness, both for victims of bullying, for instance, and parents:
(Dr. Skillings) "Even if kids really want to stay connected on social media, you have to decide at what point it's too much."
Strive to create a safe zone. Also ask if they're doing okay with the other kids at school and be prepared for them to say no, or ask for help from someone who is:
(Dr. Skillings) "If you're really not able or willing to hear that, then understand that your kid's gonna pick up on that."
Skillings urges parents: Take what your kids say seriously. And offer support and confidence-building as often as needed to make sure they know they're not alone.
With FOX on Family, I'm Lisa Brady.