Parents, friends and other trusted adults play a key role to help identify the signs and get help for a child who is displaying warning signs of suicide. We all know there is not one simple way to prevent suicide but talking openly and honestly about emotional distress and suicide is okay. 

By starting the conversation, providing support and directing help to those who need it, we can help prevent suicide and save lives. By creating a safety plan, it can help guide the conversation with loved ones as well as for yourself if you find yourself in a crisis. A plan for what to do before a crisis occurs is an important step in suicide prevention. 

Circumstances that protect against suicide risk

Individual Protective Factors

These personal factors protect against suicide risk:

  • Effective coping and problem-solving skills
  • Reasons for living (for example, family, friends, pets, etc.)
  • Strong sense of cultural identity

Relationship Protective Factors

These healthy relationship experiences protect against suicide risk:

  • Support from partners, friends, and family
  • Feeling connected to others

Community Protective Factors

These supportive community experiences protect against suicide risk:

  • Feeling connected to school, community, and other social institutions
  • Availability of consistent and high quality physical and behavioral healthcare

Societal Protective Factors:

These cultural and environmental factors within the larger society protect against suicide risk:

  • Reduced access to lethal means of suicide among people at risk
  • Cultural, religious, or moral objections to suicide


Local Resources within the state of North Dakota: 

  • Fargo Police Department's 'Break the Silence' Documentary on suicide prevention (created in partnership with Sanford Health, Essentia Health, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Caring Foundation). The video is intended to be a resource for youth and parents not only in Fargo, but across the country and world.
  • 4 6 3 Foundation 


If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or chat online at


Identifying Signs of Stress in Your Children and Teens

Teen Suicide: Identifying Warning Signs and Ways to Respond

Crisis Line Safety Plan



Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control