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14 year old daughter has been self harming and thoughts of suicide

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14 year old daughter has been self harming and thoughts of suicide


14 year old daughter has been self harming and thoughts of suicide

My 14 year old daughter has been in a low mood and has been seeing a psychologist to talk about her issues and she has recently told me that she has thought of suicide and i have caught her self harming herself. I am in shock and i don't know what to do or where to go for help. I asked my daughter why she does it, and she says she does it when she is feeling sad. Some advice would be appreciated...i am really stuck on what to do. Thank you.

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Re: 14 year old daughter has been self harming and thoughts of suicide

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Hi @VeeBee and welcome, I'm so sorry to read that your daughter is in such distress. I can imagine it came as quite a shock to hear this, and incredibly distressing to know that she is struggling and not knowing how to help. I think it does show that your daughter feels she can trust you and be open with you, if she's been able to open up to you about this. It may be bringing up all sorts of heavy feelings for you, like shock, anguish, panic, anger; they are all normal reactions to have. 

It's really great that she has the support of a psychologist, hopefully she will be able to work on some coping tools and strategies for herself. A helpful thing to do is to create a safety plan, if she hasn't already done so with her psychologist. It can be something she does on her own, or you could do it together. Another option is to encourage her to contact Kids Helpline, if she ever needs to talk it through with someone.

We have some info about supporting teens with suicide ideation here as well as some tips for talking to her about suicide here. It might also help to have a read about another parent whose teen struggled with suicide. Similarly, we have info about self-harm, as well as some positive coping skills, and another story shared by a parent whose child was self-harming. You could even encourage your daughter to join the Reachout Youth Forums, so she can talk about her experiences and connect with other young people who may be able to relate to her experiences.

Amongst it all, it is also really important that you are looking after your own self care too. One cannot pour from an empty cup, and these kinds of things can have huge impacts on our own mental health and wellbeing. Do you have support for yourself? A close friend or relative, or a therapist of your own? It can really help to have someone to confide in and get stuff off your chest. We've also got some more ideas on looking after yourself here.

I think one of the most important things is to have patience, approach with curiosity and compassion, and remind her that she can always come and talk to you about things if they get too heavy. It's really great that you've found this space, and I hope you continue to connect with us as you go. We will do our best to walk beside you during this difficult time.