Experts say childhood experiences play key role for many who tak - KCTV5 News

Experts say childhood experiences play key role for many who take their own lives

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Experts say people who die by taking their own lives don’t always have a known mental health issue. What they did find is that most had recently experienced a stressful life event. (CNN) Experts say people who die by taking their own lives don’t always have a known mental health issue. What they did find is that most had recently experienced a stressful life event. (CNN)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Less than a week has passed since the tragic suicides of local designer Kate Spade and famed chef Anthony Bourdain.

As the Kansas City area and the nation work to develop a greater understanding of the issues surrounding mental health, experts say childhood experiences are key for how people deal with a crisis as adults.

Experts say people who die by taking their own lives don’t always have a known mental health issue. What they did find is that most had recently experienced a stressful life event.

They say that is what parents should be looking out for.

Stressful life events for children could be not getting on to the sports team they tried out for, or the college they applied to and break-ups can be especially hard to deal with.

But Amanda Davis, Intake Director at St Luke’s Crittenton Children’s Center, says there is a healthy way for kids to deal with stressful events; resiliency.

But, teaching children to be strong starts at a young age.

“You knocked over your glass of milk and that's okay, we're going to clean it up and we're going to get another glass and we're going to move on,” Davis said. “It's teaching them that bad things can happen and it'll still be okay.”

She says parents can make the difference by being there for the child and helping them through the situation. Davis says this allows them to be familiar with hardship when they face it at an older age.

"It's really important to let your kids make mistakes, experience negative consequences to things because if they don't learn to deal with that when they're really little there's no way they're going to deal with it when they're bigger and the consequences are much larger," Davis said.

Davis says it is important to allow children to make mistakes to teach them to be resilient. She also says it's important to look at how parents deal with loss, specifically what they post on social media.

"We don't ever want to talk about suicide in a way that makes it seem like it gave relief to somebody or that, that was their best answer to their problems,” Davis said. 


There is help available for those who need it.

The suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK. It's free and confidential emotional support that is manned 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Callers can also chat live with a counselor by logging onto suicidepreventionlifeline.org. 

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