STARTING a conversation about suicide with their depressed children is not an easy thing to do for most parents, said Chinese University of Hong Kong assistant professor Cheng Qijin.
Cheng said many parents may know about the problems faced by their children, but they may not know how to respond to them.
“For a start, parents can seek guidance and support from professionals on ways to proactively talk to adolescents and young adults,” she said.
Cheng said parents could adopt an authoritative parenting -style as a means of initiating the topic with their children.
“Authoritative parenting-style means parents have high involvement and strong discipline in their child’s life.
“It would also be easier for parents and their children to communicate through this parenting-style,” she said, adding that positive psychology should be used to promote a person’s mental health and well-being, especially those with depression.
Cheng was speaking to mental health professionals and volunteers who attended a talk on ‘New Media and Suicide Contagion in Youth: How Do We Respond?’ at Penang Hospital in George Town, recently.
The talk, which was endorsed by the state government, was jointly organised by I-Life Suicide Prevention Campaign and Suicide Prevention Research Malaysia.