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7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

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ms_alwayssad

7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking? I need help, as it is really worrying me

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Andrea-RO

Re: 7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

Hey @ms_alwayssad , that sounds like it would be really scary, and I can only imagine how concerned you'd be feeling right now. In general it's always better to err on the side of caution and believe what your child is saying. Regardless of whether they do or do not want to die, it sounds like they're really struggling right now, so it's really important to check in with them and support them. 

It might be a good idea to have an honest conversation about why they're feeling that way. Have they explained further at all why they're having these thoughts? It's also a really good idea to get them in contact with your local GP, just in case it is something serious. I hope this is helpful <3 Please keep us updated!

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Lyssygirlsdad

Re: 7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

I'd really love to hear how this panned out! My 11yr old daughter has started saying similar things & searching online about self harm & naturally I'm pretty thrown by it. I feel like it is attention seeking but it'd be soul destroying to find out I was wrong. 

Id love to hear what worked, what didn't, where you found help etc.

best wishes

Community Manager
Philippa-RO

Re: 7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

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@Lyssygirlsdad I'm so glad you reached out here on the forums.

It can be so hard to know how to support a young person who is having thoughts of self harm or suicide, and it's very worrying as a parent.

The fact that you are supportive and you're trying to seek information is so helpful.

In terms of your daughter talking about dying or searching for information about self-harm online, it is certainly a risk factor, so it's really positive that you are taking it seriously. 

We have some great information on our website about self harm and suicide, and about how to have a conversation with a young person about suicide.

I'm wondering - does your daughter have any professional support (eg. from a psychologist)? If not, do you think she'd consider seeing someone and/or calling a helpline such as kids helpline when she's in distress?

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Lyssygirlsdad

Re: 7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

Hi Philippa,
Yes, I've read the information on your site & am trying to figure out the best place & time to have a really direct conversation. I'm worried she might feel ashamed so I'll have to be really careful when I raise the subject.

Spoiler
I was thinking of maybe starting off light hearted, telling her I'll really miss her if she kills herself & then gauging her reply, if she denies it or plays it down, maybe mentioning that the guidance officer or mum mentioned you were thinking about killing yourself.... & seeing how she responds.

At least that gets the dialogue open & I can make sure she knows I'm happy to listen to her if she's feeling down & lost.

As for professional help.... we encouraged her to call the kids helpline a year or so ago which she did but I'm not sure she got a lot from it because it's very impersonal, being a phone call with a stranger & no face to face contact. I figured I'd encourage her to call again & see what she thinks or maybe call one of the other numbers listed on your site.

For the time being I'm just trying to keep the energy positive whenever she's around me & engaging her in fun banter to put a smile on her face. Basically using stealth giving her something to enjoy living for. Last night she wanted my time & attention to help her use my home gym. Ordinarily I would've said no but I made sure we spent the time together. Her, showing off & engaging in one of my interests in an effort to have my attention & me making sure she felt important & heard.

Community Manager
Philippa-RO

Re: 7 year old saying they want to die. Is it just attention seeking?

Hi @Lyssygirlsdad, you sound like such a caring parent and it's really protective for young people who are at risk of suicide or self harm to have someone so involved and attentive in their lives.
It's not easy confronting topics like this as parents, but your plan sounds like a good one to broach the subject quite directly.

With regard to kids helpline, in case it helps, it is also possible to ask for the same counsellor again. I've heard some young people say they've found it helpful to be able to connect with the same person.
As another option, have you considered perhaps taking your daughter to see a GP for a referral to a psychologist or similar?

It sounds like your daughter really valued your time and attention doing activities that were fun and important to both of you last night - that sounds really special.