SALISBURY, Md.- Suicide is a complex topic, and an uncomfortable one for many parents to discuss with their children.
But for Rob Rotar, director of the Life Crisis Center hotline, it is something he is well-versed in. Rotar said the center receives around 30,000 phone calls each year; of that number, 2,000 are from people considering suicide.
Rotar said the best way to prevent suicide is to ask the hard questions-- and listen.
"Asking directly about suicide is one of the best ways to get someone to talk about suicide," Rotar said. "Not asking, 'Are you going to hurt yourself or are you thinking of doing something stupid?' But looking them square in the eye and asking, 'Are you thinking about killing yourself?' That can go a long way to opening that door and getting them to talk about what's going on with them."
Rotar said if your child knows someone who has committed suicide, he or she needs your help to cope.
"These kids who have lost classmates, who have lost friends, need someone who has more life experience and more ability to cope with these kinds of things," Rotar said. "To talk to, to lean on, to express their frustrations and their fears and just to let some of that grief go, because they'll be grieving and they will be for some time