Over 872 young people between the ages of 15 to 18 years old committed suicide from January of 2019 to May of 2021 in Malaysia. A number that made up 51% of the total 1,708 suicide cases recorded in that time. If this reality isn't enough to open our eyes to the dire situation of the country, then perhaps we haven't been looking hard enough. Admittedly, there's been a growing awareness and acceptance of mental health nationwide. However, Malaysia still has a long way to go in terms of suicide prevention. Kids need to grow in a loving, accepting environment in order to thrive. We've published an article on how to notice the signs of depression. Now, here are some steps to ensure your child doesn't go through what all those 872 other kids have gone through in their darkest moments. Look Out for Signs Suicide attempts are often preventable if more people knew what signs to watch out for. The first obvious mistake is thinking depression is the first and only warning sign of suicide. We look for displays of distress, sleeplessness, fatigue, emotional distance, decreased appetite irritability, and other behavioural changes. Some parents may even look for self-inflicted injuries and scars on the inner wrists and thighs. But suicide is often overlooked because of one sign that people mistake as an 'improvement' phase. This is where the individual actually breaks from their depressive mood, starts socialising, eating, and even sleeping better. This is known as a 'pre-suicide euphoria' where the person has accepted their decision to take their own life and is overcome with a certain peace of mind at the release that is about to come. While more common in adults than in children, this pre-suicide phase often also involves the person 'making preparations'. They may start mending bridges, reaching out to estranged relatives and loved ones and even spending more time with their family members and partners.\u00a0They may also start giving away personal possessions, cleaning up their room. Preventing Your Kids from Committing Suicide Reassess your Parenting At times, some Asian parents may be unknowingly guilty of gaslighting, manipulating or otherwise dismissing their children's worries. This may not be entirely of their own faults either though, as we may tend to emulate parenting styles from generations before us. As parents, we like to believe, or at least hope, that what we provide is enough for our kids to lead a happy, healthy childhoods. This is why some parents may have told their kids that they don't have any reason to be depressed, if they claimed to be. Not with all the modern luxuries and comforts they have. But that's the tricky part about depression, it doesn't discriminate. Young, old, rich, poor, male, female. It can befall any of us. So, in order to reduce the chances of your kids committing suicide, make sure your home is an oasis. A comforting place where they can find reprieve from their worries. Spend Time with Them Sounds too good to be true, but a parent's love is often the strongest yet least obvious remedy. Your children may not have a stable support system at school. They may not have many friends or a reliable counsellor to help them deal with emotional crises, or any other mental health issues they may be facing. Loneliness and isolation are often the two most serious contributing factors that often aggravate depression; leading to suicidal thoughts, tendencies, and even attempts. So, be sure to always be the support system your child needs. Do Some Troubleshooting If you suspect your child is going through something, it's probably in your best interest to find out what it is. Whether it's bullying, school problems, self-esteem issues, body dysmorphia, an eating disorder or even a messy breakup. Childhood is a relatively safe, innocent time for your kids, but that may change once they hit puberty and go to a school full of older kids. While depression rarely has one definite cause, stressful life events can and do trigger major depressive episodes. Some kids thrive in a new environment, but others may not fare so well. Not all kids are built the same. However, be sure to be tactful in your involvement. This is as many kids may not like it when their parents solve their problems for them. Track their Search History While morally ambiguous, some parents can and do monitor their kids' Internet use. While this is usually meant to stop or curtail the use of video streaming services, social media, online games, and porn, it is also often used as a form of suicide watch. Some parental controls allow you to access your child's search history. Having this information means that parents will immediately be notified if their child Googles something suspicious. Even if it's not something as obvious as "How to commit suicide?". In fact, many suicide-related Internet searches are often innocent sounding, especially during the early stages. Some examples may include, "Why am I always sad?" or "How can I be happy?". Then, it may escalate to something more serious like "Does dying hurt?" or "What is it like to die?". If you have access to their search history and find such untoward and troubling information, this would be the time for your intervention. Remove Dangerous Weapons and Items This last advice should only be used when you're positive your child may be attempting suicide. It may be weeks or even months before they decide to do it. Some children can be resourceful. But when it comes to suicide, this is one trait you don't want them to exercise. While there is no guarantee that they won't find other means to do it, at least you ensure that your home is a safe place for them. Things you should remove include alcohol, medication, household cleaners, poisonous products, inhalants, antifreeze, knives, razors, or other weapons, ropes, belts, or plastic bags. This may seem a tad ridiculous, of course, because we use many of these objects on a daily basis. There is also the risk of your kids finding out that you know if you start doing this. But you can be smart in selecting which items you feel are most dangerous and try not to make it too obvious as to avoid tipping them off. Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom Many people may tend to think of suicide as a disease that needs to be treated. But it's actually the symptom of a much bigger problem. Or rather a group of problems that's been going on in society for decades. The result of a broken and unfair system. So as parents, the change starts with you. Raise your kids in a loving, healing, accepting environment. So that the word 'suicide' won't even exist in their internal dictionary. You've got this, parents! For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to\u00a0Motherhood Story!