“As a mother, the idea of losing a child to suicide is overwhelming,” says Kreider, founder and executive director of the Youth and Family Alliance a family support group for mentally ill teens in Rantoul, Ill. Instead of getting angry, parents should react calmly and “throw it all away,” says Megan Hilton, an Ithaca College student who struggled with depression and anxiety and survived a suicide attempt. It can be a long and difficult road, so parents need emotional support themselves, Crider says. “I really started working more closely with the school to makeher’ feel like she could come to school and be safe without being judged or criticized by students or teachers,” Mr. Crider says. Counseling groups like hers are also a good source of support and education for parents, Ms. Kreider said. When her was confronted with her daughter’s suicidal behavior, Kreider said, she “found” support from her sister and her peers. So began her year-long journey to find the best way to help her daughter with her mental health problems, a journey that didn’t end for the family, but eventually became easier. Children who are struggling need their parents to tell them “that these feelings are valid, and that this struggle is real,” says Mrs. Kreider: “It’s the feeling of being accepted, supported and listened to, that feeling ofour family working together. It’s important to find a therapist who is willing to work with parents, says Renn. Opening up and telling them what’s going on is key to finding resources to help your child, Dr. Feuer says. “You can tell them,We’re doing all these things because you’re really struggling, and we understand it’s hard,'” Foyer says. “Often thoughts of suicide or the end of life come in waves,” Foyer says. As the coronavirus pandemic has worsened children’s mental health, more and more families are experiencing anxiety and depression in their children and thinking or even trying to commit suicide. It may be difficult for parents to understand why their children are thinking about suicide, but they should not be surprised or skeptical. “As parents, the first thing they think is,You have a place to live, you have food, you have clothes, we love you,'” Kreider says.