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Suicide Pacts: What Parents Need to Know

If you’re the parent of a teenager, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of suicide pacts. Suicide pacts are when two or more people make a plan to kill themselves together.

Pacts can be made via text message, social media, or in person. Suicides enacted as part of a pact are more likely to be done quickly and involve less preparation than individual suicides. They are most common among adolescents and young adults and are rare among the elderly.

Suicide pacts may seem like a way out for teens who feel hopeless and helpless, and they should never be taken lightly. If you think your child might be considering suicide or be involved in a suicide pact, it’s vital to seek help right away.

What are the signs of suicide risk in teens?

Some signs of suicide risk in teens include:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Talking about wanting to die or hurt themselves
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness
  • Increasing drug and alcohol use

There are various steps parents can take to make sure their conversations are supportive and effective.

As a parent, how can you handle your fear and concern?

Some tips for handling your fear and concern as a parent include:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel scared, sad, or even angry when talking about suicide with your child.
  • Take care of yourself. Make sure to take breaks and do things that make you feel good. This will help you be more patient and present when talking with your child.
  • Seek professional help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking therapy for yourself or family therapy for your child.

A therapist can provide support and guidance on how to best communicate with your teenager.

How to prep for the conversation

Some things you can do before the conversation:

  • Make sure you choose a time and place that’s unlikely to be interrupted.
  • If possible, have the conversation in person, although you can also have it over the phone or by sending an email.
  • If your teen doesn’t want to talk to you, find another trusted adult to have the conversation. This could be a teacher, coach, or grandparent.

What to say during the conversation

Some things you might want to say during the conversation include:

  • I’m worried about you, and I want to help.
  • I’m here for you no matter what.
  • It’s not your fault, and there is help available.
  • Suicide is permanent, and there are other ways to cope with whatever you’re going through.

Try not to judge or get angry

Instead, focus on listening and empathizing with your teen.

It’s also important to let teens know you’re there for them and that they can come to you with anything, no matter what it is.

It can be difficult when a teen starts talking about suicide. It is important to remember to listen and not judge. Letting teens talk openly about suicide can help them feel they aren’t alone and that they can trust you.

Make sure to express your concern and willingness to help them through this difficult time.

Ask about the suicide pact or plan

It’s also important to talk about the details of the suicide pact, if there is one. This includes the others they’re planning on killing themselves with, as well as how they plan to do it.

Ask if they have specific plans for how they intend to end their lives. You can also ask questions to help your teen understand what’s involved in planning the suicide. For example, “Have you thought about what would happen if you decided to kill yourself?”

Encourage them to get help

When teens are considering suicide, it’s essential to encourage them to get help from a professional. This could be their doctor, a counselor, or another health professional.

You could offer to make an appointment for them or contact a service on their behalf. Let them know that there are other options available and that suicide is not the only answer.

If they are not ready to talk about it, that’s OK. You can still offer your support and let them know that you’re there for them when they’re ready to talk.

Make Safety the Top Priority

The most important thing you can do is to make sure your child is safe. If you think there’s an immediate danger, call 911 or take your teen to the nearest emergency room.

If they are not in immediate danger, there are still a few things you can do to make safety a top priority:

  • Remove all dangerous weapons, implements, or substances from the immediate area.
  • Stay with your teen—make sure your teen is not left alone during this crisis.
  • Seek professional help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking therapy for yourself or family therapy for your child.
  • A therapist can provide support and guidance on how to best communicate with your teenager.


Although suicide pacts are rare, they can be deadly. If you know someone who is considering this option, it’s essential to reach out for help. Talk to your children about suicide and let them know there is always hope.

And if you feel you need more support, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help from a therapist or other professional.

Crisis Resources

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.

Contact a Resource Specialist

About the Author: Kathleen Aiken is an SEO and Content Manager. She is currently working with Stonewater Recovery, which offers teen boys a chance to get evidence-based treatments combined with a variety of holistic therapeutic modalities.

rtor.org and Our Sponsor Laurel House, Inc. Celebrate Pride in June

On June 28, 1969, New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village, sparking a riot and six days of protests. This incident, known as the Stonewall Uprising, marks a turning point in the gay rights movement, now celebrated as Pride Month in June.

This Pride Month, www.rtor.org and Laurel House affirm their commitment to supporting members of the LGBTQ+ community in their quest for equity and justice, especially in their fight for accessible, safe health and mental health care.

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The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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