Whether your teen is thinking about suicide or has already attempted it, there are treatments available. The first -- and absolutely necessary -- treatment is getting under the care of a mental health professional. That typically means "therapy": a regular appointment with a psychologist, psychiatrist or clinical social worker (or sometimes a qualified member of the clergy). The goal here is to get to the root of the problem through talking and to learn effective and healthy coping mechanisms so that suicide is no longer perceived as the only way out of a problem.
If your teen is on the brink of trying or has already attempted suicide (a mental health professional will be able to help you determine the former), in-patient hospitalization may be necessary until your teen is no longer in danger.
Your teen's treatment may also include medication, if it is deemed appropriate by both you and the doctor.
No one wants to find out their child has a problem, but the alternative to being aware and getting involved is even scarier. The best way to prevent a teen suicide is to watch, listen, ask and seek help. You not only don't have to do it alone -- you shouldn't.
Call (800) SUICIDE for advice or information if you think your teen may be in trouble.
For more information on teen suicide, mental illness and related topics, look over the links on the next page.