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Department of Mental Health Suggests Parents to Initiate an Open Discussion on Suicide
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- The Department of Mental Health advises all parents to be careful in response to the suicide on campus in Stillwater. Officials with the department say its important for all parents to have a crisis response plan to help their child deal with the loss, and talk to them about suicide as early as elementary school.
"We want to normalize the conversation," said David Harris, Director of the Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health, "and we want to encourage parents to talk to their kids, openly and directly about suicide."
Mental health experts say despite misconceptions, talking about suicide will not plant the idea in a child's head. The Department of Mental Health suggests parents to think about what they are going to say ahead of time, ask their children what they think about suicide, and listen to what they have to say.
Harris says it's also crucial for parents to gauge their reactions to suicide carefully.
"We don't want to overreact, and we don't want to under react," he explained, "because overreacting can shut off the lines of communication between the child, we don't want them to be scared to come to us."
The Department of Mental Health says under reacting can also undermine the importance of the sensitive issue.
Officials say despite claims that the suicide was provoked through bullying, everyone must understand that bullying is not the only reason why young people are moved to take their own life.
"There are certain warning signs that are out there, but they can't be ignored," said Jeff Tallent, co-founder of the Oklahoma Federation for Families, which assists at-risk youth, "especially if someone talks about suicide."
The Department of Mental Health says there are many warning signs parents must watch out for in children: statements of hopelessness (i.e. "I wish I were dead"), withdrawn interest from their favorite activities, increased anxiety or irritability.
Parents also need to be aware of the trigger points for suicidal behavior, including loss in the family, previous suicide attempts, getting in trouble at school or with the law, or upcoming changes that cause a child any anxiety.
If your child or anyone you know has suicidal thoughts, they can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. Counselors offer free help anytime 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
Posted: Wednesday, September 26 2012, 09:48 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Okla. governor signs abortion bill, 20 other bills
May 24, 2013 21:20 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that requires abortion providers to take additional steps to notify the parents of a minor who is seeking an abortion.
The measure was among 21 bills Fallin signed into law on Friday, when the Legislature planned to adjourn its 2013 legislative session.
The bill prohibits a minor from getting an abortion until at least 48 hours after written notice has been provided to her parent or guardian, except in cases of a medical emergency. In that case, the physician must verbally inform a parent within 24 hours after the abortion and send a written notice to the parent's last known address.
The bill includes an exemption for girls who are the victims of sexual or physical abuse.
House Bill 1588: http://bit.ly/10u4uzC
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