What is Back to School Necklace?

Back to school necklace might seem like an innocent phrase but, it has a much darker and tragic meaning. If you hear your child mentioning wanting to get a back to school necklace, it would be a good idea to talk to them and get some help.

The days and hours leading up to the first day of school can be dreadful for students especially since this usually means the end of a great summer. For some students, they’ve gotten used to the feeling. It’s a simple case of the school blues.

For others, it’s not so simple. Before we begin, this is a warning. The topic discussed is sensitive and touches on suicide. Now, here’s everything you need to know about the back to school necklace.

The Dark Message Behind the ‘Back to School’ Necklace

The term ‘back-to-school necklace’ is another word or is slang for a noose. The name comes from the relatable feeling of dread when you must go to school again after a great summer-long break. This has become a trend, a dark trend, across social media platforms like Twitter.

A child might be mentioning the back to school necklace because of immense pressure from school, their peers, or family. They might be having a difficult time coping with whatever is going on with their lives.

The CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – has mentioned that suicide is the second leading cause of death for children aged between 15 to 19 and the leading cause of death for those aged 14 and 15. In the UK alone, 7% of children have attempted to commit suicide. This highlights the need for everyone around the world to be more aware of the mental health of their children and their loved ones.

How do you know if your child is at risk of suicide?

The question remains. How do you know your child is at risk of suicide? Your child will be exhibiting certain signs that will warn you of this. It’s your job to be aware of them, notice them, and do something about them. Here are a few warning signs:

– Sudden change in behavior

– Constantly bringing up death in conversations, drawing, and writing

– Making suicidal statements and frequently talking about suicide

– Saying their goodbyes to everyone close to them

– Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy

– Past attempts of suicide and trying to harm themselves

Helping a Child Suffering from Mental Health

Now that you know how to identify the problem, you can start learning what you can do about it. Helplessness is a feeling most of us hate. It is therefore a good thing that you can do something to help your child suffering from mental illnesses or overall anxiety and depression. Here are a few ways you can help:

1. Change your parenting approach

Parents tend to under parent kids over 10 and over parent those under 10. You’ve probably noticed this growing up too or with friends that are parents. A good parenting approach is to parent just enough. You do not want to become a helicopter parent to your toddler or young child. You don’t want to keep them from experiencing fun things because of the risks of a scab or a fall. You do not want to under-parent your teens either.

If your teen tells you that they want to be left alone, respect that but make sure they know you’ll check in on them from time to time. You could say something along the lines of ‘I completely understand. I’ll leave you alone for a bit but, I’ll come back to check on you.”. The most important part? Don’t forget to check on them.

2. Be open and understanding

A lot of parents still have closed mindsets when it comes to mental health. When your child is suffering from depression or a mental illness, it’s serious and you have to acknowledge that. Be open-minded and understanding. The last thing you want to do is mock their feelings or get angry and call them weak for feeling down after a bad day. People can’t be happy all the time.

3. Prepare an emergency plan

Finally, prepare an emergency plan. Have all the relevant phone numbers listed down on a piece of paper in case an attempt is made. You must also seek professional help for your child.

Canada Suicide Helplines You Should Know About

If you need help, contact these numbers.

– Canada Suicide Prevention Service (24/7): 1-833-456-4566

– For those in Quebec: Call 1866 APPELLE

– Kids Help Phone for Canadians aged 5 to 29 who seek anonymous and confidential care from trained responders: 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT t 686868

– Hope for Wellness Help Line for indigenous people in Canada looking for immediate crisis intervention (24/7): 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free)

The Takeaway

If you or your loved one needs help, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Do not be ashamed of how you feel. Know that you are not alone.

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