How can I help my daughter? She has attempted suicide twice in the last three years.

My daughter is 16 and has attempted suicide twice in the last three years by taking pills. Her biological father committed suicide when she was four months old and her brother was two. He had a mental illness and my concern is that my daughter has it too.

I have taken her for lots of counselling and she even saw a psychiatrist. Though I don’t agree with the results at all.

I’m really concerned for her and don’t know where else to turn. I’m hoping you can direct me in what to do next.

For counselling to be effective you must be confident in it. I encourage you to have an open mind and continue to search for help that you have confidence in. Talk to your family doctor. She or he may have some suggestions.

Before you send your daughter for counselling it is a good idea for you to have a chat with the counsellor. Explain what the problem is from your point of view. Ask questions about how they approach issues.

For safety, it is important for you to check all of the medicine cabinets in your home and make sure you don’t have any out of date medications that could be a danger to your daughter. Take out of date medications to your pharmacist for disposal.

If you are taking any medications keep them safely away from your daughter.

You and your daughter have made it to her sixteenth birthday through very difficult circumstances. You must be doing some things right. What do you think are the strengths of your relationship? How is she good at managing? What is going well?

Build on the strengths that you have identified. Although she may be at risk for problems, she is not doomed to have problems because of these risks. Many other factors: her strengths, your strengths, good relationships, other life successes and so on also make up a child’s character. Keep up the good work!

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