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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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One of my daughters best friends tried to kill herself , she

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One of my daughters best friends tried to kill herself , she will be released from the hospital tonight. I found out about it 30 minutes ago from girls mother, she called me to let me and my daughter know before our daughters will be able to communicate. I did not have a chance to see my daughter yet, she is still at school. How should I approach my daughter? What would be my best choices to do? Both girls are 16th years old. Thank you. Tatiyana.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is always best with kids to approach them in a gentle yet honest way. Kids are smart and know when things are not right. So talking to your daughter about what you know upfront can help her not only bond to you, but she can be prepared for whatever she needs to face with her best friend.

Find some time to sit down with your daughter and tell her that you heard from her best friend's mother today about her friend being released. If you have not talked about why her friend was in the hospital yet, this is a good time to bring it up. At your daughter's age, she is probably very aware of the situation or at least that something was wrong with her friend. You don't need to go into her beliefs or yours about suicide, just stick with talking about the facts.

Then ask your daughter how she feels about the situation- her friend coming home, what she feels she might say to her friend, etc. Let your daughter talk openly and don't censure anything even if she says something that makes you feel bad or uncomfortable. Then talk with her about how she wants to approach her friend when she sees her again, or if she wants to contact her before hand. Helping your daughter plan this out will help her feel less anxious or awkward about the situation.

Most of all, just be there for her and let her know you are open to talking with her about anything she needs to talk about. It could be that she doesn't want to talk about it right now so let her know that is ok and that you are there when she is ready. As long as she knows she has your support, she will be fine.

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate thank you very much for your answer, I understood and I fell much more prepared to talk to my daughter.

One more thing, during our phone conversation girl's mother mentioned that girl herself did not want mother to call me, but her mom did it anyway. She thinks it was important for me and my daughter to know before. I am not sure how address that in conversation with my daughter. Should my daughter tell her friend we found out what happened already from her mom. My feel - is better no to tell. Am I wrong?


Thank you.

You're welcome! I am happy to help.

If your daughter asks you how you know her friend is getting out of the hospital tonight then yes, let her know. Not telling her if she asks would be lying to her and that may make her not trust you. But otherwise, there is no reason to bring it up. However, you may want to also let her know that her friend did not want her mother to call you. That way, your daughter can decide if she wants to hold that information back from her friend. Her friend needs support right now and the less she gets upset, the better.

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