How can I encourage my child to report something if they believe a friend is self-harming?

If your child is worried or concerned that a friend is harming themselves or considering taking there own life, it is important to equip them with the right support to respond effectively. Our experts provide insight on how to help them to just that.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos

Psychologist, Author, Broadcaster and Internet Matters Ambassador
Expert Website

It’s natural as your kids get older that their peer group becomes a more prominent feature of their lives. Part of the work of successfully negotiating adolescence is becoming independent of your parents and establishing a tribe of your own- many times showing loyalty to that tribe means keeping their secrets. As such, unless you speak to your child about the importance of speaking up when they fear that one of their friends is in danger they may be reluctant to do so.

Make the time to talk your child about this ensuring that you explain to them why it’s important that they and their friends look out for each other. Make a point of telling them that you will handle any information that they give you carefully and most importantly explain that this isn’t about breaking a confidence or telling on each other but rather its about being a good friend and ensuring that the person that they are worried about will get the help that they need before their problem escalates.

Wellcast video offers sound advice to help your child to understand what to do if they believe a friend is in danger of hurting themselves.

Young Minds #NoHarmDone video: Watch learn more about how to respond to someone who is self-harming.

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