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How To Talk About Suicide With Our Tweens and Teens

Many parents avoid the topic of suicide with their tweens and teens until something happens. But true suicide prevention begins now. My guest today helps parents ask the right questions about suicide to rewire our tweens’ and teens’ brain to be positive.

We’ve all heard of the tragic, heartbreaking story of a tween or teen that has committed suicide. And as our kids grow into pre-teens and teenagers, it becomes more challenging to know what they are thinking and feeling. 

My guest today is Jackie Simmons a TEDx speaker, Radio Show Host, International Best-selling Author, Resilience Master, and co-founder of the Teen Suicide Prevention Society, along with her daughter.

After almost losing her teen daughter to suicide, Jackie has been on a mission to make teen suicide become a thing of the past by breaking the silence and sharing with parents what to say that really works to not only prevent suicide but also to get tweens, teens, and adults to start thinking differently about their lives. 

Jackie role plays with me a powerful script of 4 questions to ask your teen when beginning the conversation to prevent suicide.

Let’s jump in!

Scroll down to read the full episode transcribed.

What You Will Learn: 

  • What happens when we don’t bring up the topic of suicide with our teens/tweens.
  • How our brains are wired to screen out the warning signs with our children.
  • Four questions to ask your tween/teen to break the pattern of thought around suicide and flip that energy into something positive.
  • How parents can train their brain to pay attention to what is positive and the effect this has on our tweens/teens.
  • How teens’ subconscious thoughts form plans and how parents can help.
  • Helping your tween/teen escape the negative echo chamber in their heads.

Where you can find Jackie:

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And here is the episode typed out!

Welcome to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. If some days you doubt yourself and you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’ve ugly cried alone in your bedroom because you felt like you were failing. Well, I just want to let you know you are not alone and you have come to the right place.

Raising tweens and teens in today’s world is not easy. And I’m on a mission to equip you to love well and to raise emotionally healthy, happy tweens and teens that thrive.

I believe that moms are heroes, and we have the power to transform our families and impact future generations. If you are looking for answers, encouragement, and to become more of the mom and the woman that you want to be, welcome. I am Sheryl Gould. And I am so glad that you’re here.

SHERYL:   Welcome, Jackie, to the Moms of Tweens and Teens Podcast. I’m honored that you’re on the show. Thanks for coming on.

JACKIE:  Thank you. I really appreciate this.

SHERYL:   Yeah, well, I so appreciate you being on here because you have powerful message parents need to hear. I want you to tell our listeners about you a little bit of your story. And what led you to do what you’re doing?

JACKIE:  Well, thank you. What I’m doing is a two-step in my world. I am both the director and creator of Conscious Transformational Coaching. And I am the director of the Teen Suicide Prevention Society, which is a nonprofit that we formed with my daughters. 

I never intended to talk about suicide, never intended to go into this space, and certainly, actively look the other way on the topic. And then, my middle daughter, at the age of 37, broke the silence on her multiple suicide attempts as a teenager that I had lived through. But we hadn’t talked about it outside of getting professional help. She hadn’t really talked about it with anyone until August 3, 2019. 

That summer day was already hot. By the time I went and met her in the conference room with the other speakers. I had trained 12 speakers to deliver seven-minute messages that matter. And everything worked that day: the videographer was set, the slides worked. 

The audience came in and took their seats. Stephanie, my daughter, she was getting into that nervous, excited state you get into right before you give a talk. She looked amazing. A dark blouse, flowery skirt, her hair with full-back in combs. I am super proud of my daughter. 

She was first up on the speaker’s roster, so the lights dimmed, and I invited everyone to welcome her to the front of the room. Everyone helped me welcome Stephanie Ashton. She walked confidently up to the front of the room, shook my hand, and started her seven-minute talk with a startling statistic. (Always good to give a short talk. You got to grab their attention.) Her statistic: 3000 teenagers will attempt to take their own lives today, just in the US – 3,000. 

In the back of the room, I was absolutely stunned. First, because I had no idea that number was that high. And second, because I had no idea suicide was her topic. Her next words. “When I was 14, after a bad day shopping, I stood in my bathroom. And the pain of not fitting into any clothes was just more proof that I didn’t fit in anywhere. And that pain was more than I could bear. So I took a razor and cut into my left arm trying to end the pain and my life.” 

In the back of the room, I felt myself go pale. I mean, I could feel the blood run out of my face. Have you ever been hijacked by a bad memory, Sheryl?

SHERYL:   Yes, I have. But I’m imagining what you must have felt standing at the back of the room and hearing her say that. What was that like for you?

JACKIE:  Only my 30-odd years as a stress management consultant kept me from crawling into a corner and just bawling my eyes.

SHERYL:   Oh, I bet. 

JACKIE:  She kept talking. She talked about how we didn’t talk about it, how it wasn’t her only attempt, and how she still struggles with suicidal thoughts. I felt myself go pelvic bone-cold because I realized the struggles that she’d had to face by herself because I didn’t have the courage to have the talk about suicide and suicidal thoughts. 

Thinking and what her experience of life was like, I didn’t have the courage to have that talk because I didn’t want to know. Would you want to know what could cause your kid so much mental and emotional pain that they thought dying was better than living? I sold myself on the idea that as long as she was getting professional help, we didn’t need to talk about it

The truth was, I was scared to talk about it. I was scared of putting the idea back into her head, the ability of a parent to not see what’s right in front of us, and I wanted to give every parent listening to this a break. You are not going to see the signs that your kid has struggled because your brain is wired to screen them out. 

Our brains come equipped with a filter called the reticular activating system, or RAS. The RAS’s job is to screen out the massive amounts of stimulation that are bombarding our brains. Every second, billions of bits of information are hitting us at any one second. And the RAS job is to allow in the 40 that our brain can handle – 40 out of billions. 

So the criteria that the reticular activating system uses – the filter is set to allow in only what matches closely to what we believe. And parents are hard-wired to believe that our kids are okay. We believe our kids are doing well, “my kid is just fine.” Otherwise, we would not be able to focus and finish anything. So this is how the brain is designed. 

And it’s why at the Teen Suicide Prevention Society, which is what happened after my daughter’s speech, we decided we had to do something. This is one piece of information that a parent’s brain is wired to screen out the red flags to screen out the warning signs when I went to the Center for Disease Control website and found their warning signs of suicide. I realized that our system was broken and backward for two reasons. 

The first reason is that no parent goes to that website and looks for the warning signs of suicide until after their kid is known to be at risk or has survived it. And the other reason it’s broken, and backward is because of what I just said about the brain screening it out. Yes, even if we know what they are, we will not see them in our own children because our brain is wired to prevent them. 

So the whole system of what’s called Suicide Prevention, I think, is broken because it’s not preventing suicidal thinking from getting stuck in someone’s head. It is set to prevent someone from making an attempt or a second attempt after they are known to be struggling. 

Prevention would be let’s truly prevent the problem. What if parents don’t need to be looking for signs which we believe are waiting for trouble? We think if you’re waiting for signs that your child is at risk, you really are looking for trouble because you can’t tell by looking.

SHERYL:   Wow, that’s sobering. I just want to understand. So are you saying that we can’t just assume they’re not going to have these suicidal thoughts?

JACKIE: I will guarantee you they’re going to have suicidal thoughts. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, said suicidal thinking is normal. It’s part of our natural problem-solving worst-case scenario mechanism. The problem is not a suicidal thought, and the problem is when it gets stuck in our heads.

SHERYL:   Okay, so the problem is when it gets stuck, and you get in that loop of negative thinking and don’t know how to get yourself out.

JACKIE: Exactly. And that’s the piece that we’re not teaching our kids. We’re not teaching them how to be emotionally resilient or how to break a cycle of negative thinking. When we first identified this as the crux of the problem, I created an intervention tool called the Why Not Workbook, and it’s still available. It’s not our most powerful tool, but it is still there for anyone who is like, “how would I stop myself from being in a negative echo?” 

By the way, you get into a negative echo chamber when you have a thought, like, “I don’t want to live this way anymore.” And it’s particularly problematic in teens with the negative echo chamber, and I’ll explain in just a second. Adults struggle with it, too, though. Because as soon as you recognize that you have a repeated thought, around dying around taking your own life, you make a choice, you’re either going to tell someone or not tell someone. 

The vast majority of people opt not to talk about it. And their reasons for not talking about it start with love for their loved ones, and they don’t want anyone to worry about them. My daughter said it this way; Stephanie said, “I didn’t want to be a burden.” She thought if she shared her struggles, she would be a burden. Our kids are trying to protect us; they are so good at masking depression, they are so good at masking any kind of emotional distress that we have to assume that their brain is functioning perfectly, that they are having the natural and normal thoughts about suicide. 

The best defense for a parent is an offense. It’s breaking the silence first on the topic of suicide. So our most powerful tool is what we call The Talk That Saves Lives. It’s the guide for parents. It’s fully scripted for everything from what you say to invite your kid to have the talk with you. It’s an invitation, not a “we need to talk.” 

This is something totally new, totally different, neuroscience-based that actually flips the brain from negative to positive without them knowing what you’re doing. It does it from the invitation. Instead of talking about it, would you be willing to roleplay it with me? And then the parents will get to see how easy this is?

SHERYL:   Yes, I would love to roleplay with you.

JACKIE: Cool. All right. Here’s the invitation. “Hey, Sheryl. I’m part of the mission to make teen suicide a thing of the past. They gave me a guide. I need to practice. Would you have a few minutes to help me practice?:

SHERYL:   So I get to be a teenager, right? “Ah, okay. Sure, Mom.”

JACKIE: “Thanks. It’s only four questions. Ready? Question one. Have you heard about the rise in teen suicides?”

SHERYL:   “Yeah.” 

JACKIE: “Sheryl, question two. Do you have a story? Do you have a friend who’s tried or died?”

SHERYL:   “I have friends that are depressed. That talk about it on social media. I’ve heard of some kids dying. It’s, you know, there was a suicide last year at school.”

JACKIE: “Sheryl, question three. Have you ever thought of leaving that way?”

SHERYL:   “I get depressed. I haven’t, really thought about acting on anything. But sometimes I feel like I’d rather be invisible.”

JACKIE: “Thank you. Question four, Sheryl. Why stay? What are your reasons for staying?”

SHERYL:   “I have a family that loves me. We don’t always get along, but I have a family that loves me and I have some good friends. What else? I have some things that I like to be in the drama club.”

JACKIE: “Tell me more.”

SHERYL:   “Well, I like to act and I like to be in front of people and be different characters. It’s fun to be different characters. And that’s fun for me and I don’t really have to be myself. I can just be funny and people laugh.”

JACKIE: “What’s so good in your life that you want more of it?”

SHERYL:   “I think about what I want to do in the future. I guess I want more laughter and I like exploring new things. So that’s something that I would want to do.” 

JACKIE: “Thank you, Sheryl. I appreciate you being willing to help me with the guide.”

And as a parent, now you can just ask them more questions about what’s so good in their life or what else they might have as a reason for staying. It is only on Question four that we probe. Here’s what just happened in your brain. And anybody watching this recording, the minute that you went into question four, all of the energy that was in the neural network around suicide got stolen from that part of the brain and redirected into a new neural pathway that’s like a file folder in the brain. 

And the label on that file folder is the reason for staying. And the more that you give yourself a chance to explore your reasons for staying, that’s like taking that one neural strand and wrapping another one around it and wrapping another one around it. And the more that someone does this, the faster this neural network is and bigger than the original one. So what happens when you have thought about leaving, and it bumps up against your reasons for staying, and it doesn’t get through the filter, so it doesn’t get stuck.

SHERYL:   And that is the whole piece that I was talking about, and helping them to think about what is good and get out of that loop.

JACKIE: It breaks the cycle right there because it literally breaks the pattern of thought around suicide and flips that energy into something positive. And your brain on positive is way more creative. 31% more productive than your brain on the negative, neutral, or stressed.

SHERYL:   You know what’s so fascinating about this is the woman that works with me; she’s like my business partner, she had something that happened with her son that was neurological, and he got stuck in a loop. It wasn’t depression, as much as it was like he had had a sickness. It affected his body, where he could not get one of his legs to work. And it was a real thing, like it was in his blood. But it came back like nine months later. It’s a real thing that they have discovered. He was at Children’s Memorial. (She talks about this, so should it be fine, they would both be fine with me sharing it.) 

What they said was his leg was not paralyzed anymore. It was just he was stuck in a negative loop. And they used to think when that would happen, that was just people were kind of crazy. It made no sense. Now they realize the brain was stuck in that negative loop. But here’s the thing, they told her not to talk about the negative loop because the negative loop keeps them stuck.

JACKIE: Right. And you’re giving more attention to, and so the reason that we created the talk, the way that we did, is because when you break the silence on suicide with their permission, nobody gets hijacked into this talk, they have to agree to the invitation. And so they’ve agreed to talk about it; you’ve already activated the part of their brain that’s on positive. 

How do you do that? By asking them to help you. When we know, we can help someone that turns on a pleasure center in the brain. Ask a three-year-old to help you with something. “Oh, goody, I get to help.” Many of us have the same thing in our brain, and they just don’t jump up and down where we can see it. You’ve already turned on that pleasure center around this topic, which created cognitive dissonance in their brain. And when you take them through this, now you’ve got more dissonance because “I’m helping – this is supposed to feel good.” So you’ve got more cognitive dissonance happening in the brain. 

Then when you ask questions to reconcile that, “I’m helping this feels good.” What are my reasons for staying – bad feels good. Now I no longer have dissonance. And this is a very powerful experience in the brain.

Because of a little thing called mirror neurons, every single time you have this talk with someone you care about, you’re actually having the talk with yourself at the same time. Your brain is building out that folder labeled Reasons For Staying because your brain is going, “Oh, that’s a cool reason I hadn’t thought of – I’ve got a different one.” Or “that sounds like mine. Because of that subconscious conversation happening. You’re building out your own filter that will protect you. I call it building a buffer between you and an edge that you may not have even known you were near.

SHERYL:   So what do you think we’re doing today with our kids? I never want to blame my parents. But what are some of the things that we’re doing that are reinforcing that negativity that that kids are having, where they’re going down more – they’re getting stuck in their thoughts? I have kind of thought about what that is. But I would love to hear what your sense.

JACKIE: I have a friend who teaches emotional intelligence, and they do it with card games that you can play with kids as young as three; they call it What Parents Do Out Of Love. And because this is what our parents did, and this is what our bosses do, and this is what the school system does, it has a name in the emotional intelligence community. It’s called “corrective complex.” It is the knee-jerk reaction to correct or fix someone else. 

With our kids, we believe it’s our job. The problem is we were not taught to do it in a way that doesn’t cause damage. And the damage it causes is not to our kid, and it’s to our relationship with our kid. The knee-jerk reaction, the way we were taught to parent, “we’re here, let me help you.” Because that’s not right, that we start when they’re really little, actually sets them up to not share with us when they’re bigger. 

We’re always in that parenting mode that corrected complex mode. It’s not our fault. It’s the way we were trying, and we can learn how not to go there. We can learn how to have a pause button on that knee-jerk reaction. It takes a little bit of training. The people who’ve been willing to be really patient with me understanding how the brain really works. 

There are some fast tracks that help you can train your brain to see the positive, you can take advantage of something that I was introduced to by the happiness professor from Harvard, a man named Sean Aker, and he calls it the Tetris Effect. And if you’ve ever played the game Tetris, this is where blocks and different shapes slide down a wall, and you fit them into slots. What he found was that people who play it a lot, when they go out into the world, they start seeing these block shapes in buildings and in cars, and in people’s pocketbooks. “oh, that looks like that kind of shape.” Because their brain has been trained to pay attention. 

We can train our brains to pay attention to what is positive, and we can train our brains to pay attention to what’s so good in our lives that we want more of it. And we can train our brains to pay attention to something really key, which is what are our successes? What are the opportunities we’ve created, the challenges we’ve overcome, the obstacles that we’ve made it through? When we start training our brain there, all of a sudden, our brain starts seeing those everywhere, start seeing what we call evidence that you are in control of your life, which is what the biggest challenge right now is feeling that your life is out of control. And this is true at any age.

SHERYL:   I love what you’re saying. I think it’s so important for us as parents and even for our own lives to see how teens tend to block out the more when we’re trying to give that advice and we’re trying to fix things for them. I love how you said that and we think that we’re helping, but if we can instead ask a question or notice something that’s positive, like say, “Wow, you put a lot of effort into that.”

JACKIE: That works really well when they’re little. When they’re teens, they feel manipulated because they’ve had all of this experience, and it’s too big of a shift. Better is to use some tools. One tool is the Talk That Saves Lives. Because when you can get your kid to start talking with you about what is so good about their life, that they want more of it, what their reasons for staying are, and you are not sharing yours unless they ask you and you’re inviting more, and you are curious, not correcting, they are getting a very different experience of you. Which, by the way, will set up some cognitive dissonance. And so, you may want to have a plan for how you can share other positive moments with them.

SHERYL:   Yes, yes, what are different ways that you could start the conversation? I was just thinking sometimes we don’t even listen to their problem-solving or what they’re even thinking. When they can share with us how they’re thinking about solving a problem, which is a little different than what you’re saying, but when I’m connecting, there are so many ways we miss opportunities to help them to where they feel better about. Or getting them to notice the past more than possible. Braking that negative –

JACKIE: -changing it, rewiring. And it’s really easy to do. In three minutes, you can quiet that down; you can improve your mood and attitude, and you can give yourself an emotional pause button that lasts for six to eight hours, scientifically validated to change the brain.

SHERYL:   Okay? And how do we do that? 

JACKIE: At emotionalteflon.com, it’s a gift of this mindset magic tool. That’s some very fancy software. And the software floods you visually, like a vision board on steroids – floods you with positive images and affirmative questions and statements that actually get past your critical thinking brain and get into your other than the conscious mind. You can speed it up, and you could slow it down. It doesn’t matter. Watching it for three minutes has been scientifically validated to improve mood and attitude for six to eight hours. 

Oh, and by the way, in case you’re wondering what’s been going on with the suicide rates since 2019. According to the Center for Disease Control, 25% of American young adults are struggling with suicidal thoughts. One out of every four. And that statistic is from almost two years ago. It hasn’t gotten better. 

What we can do about it is what is so exciting, we can take control of what’s happening behind our eyes, and between our ears, we can grab hold of our positivity, and we can pull optimism back into our lives. And by doing it for ourselves, we infect our kids with it because emotional intelligence is not taught; it’s caught. Our kids catch it from us. 

So the best gift you can give to your kids is to take care of your own mindset first, like putting your own oxygen mask on first. And that’s why this tool is for adults; the positivity club that’s now launched is an adult playground. Why? Because if I can get your brain on positive, you will naturally calm down that corrective complex, and you will naturally be more curious and more patient with your teens. 

And here’s why you want to be really patient with your teens. Teens don’t have a pause button. The prefrontal cortex is not fully developed. It’s physically there by the age of 12. And not fully functional until the age of 24. If you’re lucky. 

What that means is that when a kid gets stuck in that negative echo chamber, and they don’t want to talk about it because they don’t want to worry their family, they don’t want to be a burden. They don’t want to have to see somebody – they’re scared of it. So they do what’s natural. They try not to think about it. Have you ever tried not to think about an elephant? 

If I told someone doesn’t think about a lemon. What they’re actually doing is doubling down on the thought, and their subconscious mind is elegantly designed to bring about what you think about. So now they’re thinking about not thinking about it, double down on it. And the subconscious mind does what the subconscious mind is elegantly designed to do. It looks for and creates opportunities to get you what it thinks you want because it’s what you’re thinking about. 

In a teenager, all it takes is a subconscious plan. They’re not even aware of it. They do not have a plan. So don’t think you can ask them and find out. They do not have a conscious plan. This is the end compared to the elephant of the subconscious mind. That’s how they describe it in psychology. The conscious mind is an ant by comparison.

SHERYL:   Yeah, I know. That’s crazy. 

JACKIE: All it takes is a subconscious plan to cross an opportunity. And they’re gone. Teens are waking up in emergency rooms and saying, “I don’t know what happened.” And that’s because, consciously, they don’t know what happened. Their brain kicked in, except it was designed to bring about what they were thinking about. By definition, if you’re thinking about it, don’t you want it? That’s how the subconscious mind, this organism, that we’re still trying to figure out, that all of the science around, this is how it works. 

Learning how to be mindful of what you think about is not a skill I grew up with. And that’s what we have for everyone in this tool the ability to start getting control of what’s happening below the surface of awareness. And that’s one step in our journey. 

The second step – and people can find me on this. I do a masterclass on resetting the brain to positive – it’s actually how to bust limiting beliefs. Because we all have those, I do that in a free class. So people can grab hold of that, we want your brain on positive. We want you to be able to clean up, breakthrough, and whatever the language is that works for you. Your limiting beliefs about who you are and how the world works all formed when we were really young. The decisions we made at a time we don’t even remember, are we now old enough to make a different decision. 

We want our teens to make better decisions. It’s got to start with us. And now there are fun ways to do it. There are ways to play in the world with the vision board on steroids and Emotional Teflon. There are ways to play in the metaverse in an adult playground. That’s called the Positivity Club. And we’ll be sending out information to anyone who has the Emotional Teflon. We will send out information about the Positivity Club. 

I want everyone to be able to turn their brains on positively. Suppose you want to know how to prevent suicide. You focus on the positive, and let us help you do that better.

SHERYL:   Yeah. Rewiring the brain. Well, thank you so much. How are you since you started the Suicide Prevention Society? What fruit do you see from that?

JACKIE: It was only when I was willing to talk about suicide that’s that created the connection. That’s how I got introduced to the software Positive Prime. That’s the Emotional Teflon. It was right before I gave my TEDx talk. I was being interviewed because I was about to give a TEDx talk on suicide and teen suicide prevention. And I started using this software before I took the stage. 

I think it had a big impact on my ability to be calm and confident talking about a topic I didn’t want to talk about. I’m telling a story I didn’t think I would ever share. But when it came to needing to market the TEDx talk, see I gave the talk in January in Las Vegas of 2021. TEDx sat on it until May. And when they released it, by then, I had all this time to be really like, “oh my god, I have to market this. I actually have to tell people about this. I have to get people to talk because I want people to talk about suicide, but I’m not comfortable with saying Oh, come listen to me speak.”

Especially on this topic, because I have a lot of resistance to the topic. So why we’ve used In the Positive Prime, coating myself with Emotional Teflon, and ended up with over 90,000 people who have seen that TEDx talk so far.

SHERYL:   What courage. In order to have that courage, you start doing the work to change your brain.

JACKIE: I had to do that. We don’t know what our limiting beliefs are until we go to do something we’ve never done before; we go after something we want that we’re not sure that other people will agree with. And anybody who’s an entrepreneur probably has people in their life who told them to be sensible and get a job. No, this is other people’s judgments, opinions, and expectations, and having the ability for other people’s judgments, opinions, and expectations to stay just like other people’s. That’s what Emotional Teflon does for you. It allows you to honor your own opinions, be the driver of your own life, and let other people have their experiences.

SHERYL:   Yes, empowering you by breaking through those limiting beliefs that hold us back. In so many areas of our lives.

JACKIE: The real point is that we are being highlighted. We are being shown that our children do not have the emotional resilience, to manage and stay grounded in their own opinions and judgments, and expectations of life. They end up being influenced by other people’s judgments, opinions, and expectations. 

Now you can treat the symptom, which is to limit their social media contact and talk about how bad social media is demonized, be part of that demonization of social media, which by the way, if you remember being a teenager might just make you want it more. Just saying it’s like trying to take a cell phone away from a two-year-old.

The better way, in my opinion, is to help your teen build that sense of self. They have positive self-regard. And the easiest way to do that is to get yourself out of the corrective complex so that you’re not part of the problem of criticizing and giving them your judgments, opinions, and expectations. But rather, you can be peaceful and calm and be curious about their lives, about their judgments of things. 

What do they think about something? What are their opinions about what’s happening in your home in your world? What are their expectations of life? Because the saddest thing in the world is a kid who doesn’t have any expectations for a positive outcome in life. 

And here’s the caveat to everything I said about the talk that saves lives. It works as an early warning system as well. And here’s how it works an early warning system. If your teen has thoughts of leaving and answers yes to question three and has zero reasons for staying, stay with them and call 911. They’ll hate you for it. And they might be alive long enough to hate you for a really long time. 

Now, with all of the 1000s of talks, guess how many times this has happened? Zero. Why? Because kids and adults are really good at masking. So, what’s going to happen is that when you get to Question four, they’re going to lie. And they are going to make up reasons for staying. And their brain is building out the exact same new neural pathway, and the file folder labeled reasons for staying because the brain believes what the mouth expresses.

So when they make up reasons for staying, they are actually suicide-proofing their brain. They’re building out that filter for themselves. They’re breaking the pattern of that negative echo chamber that you don’t even know they’ve got because they’ve really good at masking it. And so, having the talk will break that even if it’s there. 

It’s pure prevention that also intervenes. And it does it in a way that they will accept because they don’t know what’s happening. Because you’re not coming into the conversation thinking that there’s something about them that’s broken. 

SHERYL:   Wow. I was trying to when I was playing roleplaying. I was thinking of myself as being a depressed teen. And then yeah, and I had to come up with reasons, you know, that I wanted to stay. You’re right. I mean, even in roleplaying because I was in the theater. And even in the roleplaying, I was starting to believe that. I can see how that works.

JACKIE: If you talk about it, you hear yourself. You’re using way more of your senses than you believe, and using your senses builds out a neural network faster.

SHERYL:   So, wow, this has been so good. I want you to share all the resources because you bring up such an important paradigm shift of it’s more focusing on the relationship, going through those questions, focusing on the positive, and rewiring our brains first, that will respond differently to our kids when we can do that for ourselves. Thank you so much for coming on here, Jackie and sharing. Please tell our listeners where they can find all of these resources and find you.

JACKIE: Teensuicidepreventionsociety.com has all the resources. It even has my TEDx Talk link on the homepage of it, and it has the Emotional Teflon. I recommend going straight to emotionalteflon.com. Start priming your brain to be positive, learn about the positivity club, be part of the movement, and then get the script.

The guide for the Talk That Saves Lives and a full video training on it is available for free on the Teen Suicide Prevention Society website. There’s a membership subscription. You can become a member of this society, get discounts and freebies on a bunch of the mindset training, why we want your brain on positive. 

I’m delighted to be part of your story now, and you are part of mine, part of the journey. And thank you to everyone who’s listening because what I know is that your brain got flipped today. Just by listening to us roleplay the Talk That Saves Lives. So now your mirror neurons are fired up on what are your reasons for staying. 

If you go to the Teen Suicide Prevention website, you’ll see there’s a button labeled “reasons for staying.” We’d love to know what your reasons for staying are. We’re writing a book titled Reasons For Staying so that we can share what’s so good about life that we want more of it.

SHERYL:   Thank you so much for helping us all to do that to give that gift to our kids.

Please join Jackie on her mission to make teen suicide a thing of the past. You may never know whose life you’ll save. www.TeenSuicidePreventionSociety.com 

The Teen Suicide Prevention Society is a registered 501c3 – to make a donation visit: www.TeenSuicidePrevnetionSociety.org

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