In supporting a young person with suicidality, it is important to focus on building on a young person’s strengths and strengthening their protective factors. A focus on strengths enables a young person to view themselves and their experiences more constructively, and make changes they seek in their lives.
Key components include:
- Self-management skills
- Safety support planning
- Connectedness to family and friends
Self-management skills assist a young person to cope with adverse life events or stressors, and respond more positively to difficult situations. It includes building problem solving skills and individual resilience, emotional regulation and tolerating distress.
Adolescence is a time of emotional development, where adolescents are building resilience and coping skills. When faced with an adverse life event, they may not have the self-management skills yet to respond more positively, and thus may feel overwhelmed and be less likely to cope. Helping a young person develop these skills will strengthen their protective factors to suicidality.
The following modules are a guide to build useful knowledge and skills that can enable young people to find constructive ways to manage issues contributing to their suicidality.