I’m worried about telling my parents about my thoughts of suicide and self-harm. what should I do?

When times are tough and you want to let the important people in your life know about what’s really going on and how you’ve been coping, it can definitely be hard to make that first step. Of course, we can’t speak for what you’re going through, but you can never really know how those people will respond to and how they’ll treat you. It really is a difficult situation to be in.


We don’t know how your parents will react, but it would be best for you to try to brainstorm that. Try and think about what you feel would be the absolute worst way your parents could respond to conceptualize what you want to avoid when you tell your parents. Then, think of what’s the absolute best way that they could respond. What would you want your parents to say? How would you want them to treat you? How would you want your parents to see you? With these two extremes in mind, try to then decide which way your parents would most likely respond and how you feel about that response. From there, it’s really up to you to decide whether or not you should tell your parents.


With something as difficult as this, it can help to plan out what you want to say before you say it. If you do decide that you want to tell your parents, you could write out a speech before telling them or even give them a letter. This also allows you to make sure you mention everything you wanted to. You could also talk to someone else whom you and your parents both trust and have them help you with the talk. This could be a friend, a school counsellor, a family friend, etc.


If you ultimately feel like you don’t want to tell your parents at this time, you could also consider reaching out to other people you trust. Simply talking about a problem or connecting with someone can make the situation much more bearable. This might be a friend, a teacher, a counsellor, or even us here at ConnecTeen (call us at 403-264-TEEN (8336) or text us at 587-333-2724).