Good Housekeeping South Africa

PARENTING Help your child support a friend

MY DAUGHTER, 13, came home from school recently extremely worried about one of her classmates. The girl had told her friends that she was going to kill herself that evening.

I had no idea how to respond. There’s no section in parenting books on what to do when your teenager’s friend is suicidal. Should I contact the girl’s mother? The school? Another parent?

The truth is I did none of the above, but only because I was aware of the girl’s mental-health issues and knew that her parents and teachers were too. (And I can report that the learner turned up at school the next day.)

What the situation did raise was my concern about how to support my daughter. How do I help her process such a scary scenario? What should

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