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Life-Saving Tool For Suicidal Teens by AnneMoss Rogers, Mental Health and Suicide Education Expert

AnneMoss Rogers is an expert in suicide education. She will be a guest on the Moms of Tweens and Teens upcoming podcast and she was a speaker during The Everything Parenting Tweens and Teens Summit. 

One of AnneMoss’s most effective tools in her years of working in the suicide education industry is something called a “Coping Card.” She has seen it literally save lives. We spoke with AnneMoss about how to create this life-saving tool for suicidal teens, and this is what she said:

“Parents are invited to do a coping card with their child. It’s for those times when life throws speed bumps along your path, explodes in your face, or feels too difficult at the moment to get through. 

Step One:

Choose what material you will use for your Coping Card. It is best to use a piece of paper or index card that can fit into a wallet or other private place. 

Step Two:

Fill in at least two answers each using the following headings:

Reasons for Living: In addition to at least two reasons for living (ie: a dog, family, or favorite activity), there should also be keywords related to a past event that makes them feel good. So, for example, I have “Vienna 1998” on mine. It activates a pleasant memory of a time when we just had a magical night eating in a castle with the royal family in Vienna. It was so amazing that it makes me light up every time. This portion is the part that studies have shown is the most effective in preventing suicide and other self-harming behaviors. 

Coping Strategies: The coping strategies need to be healthy strategies. For example: Reading fart jokes is healthy (even if mom hates it!), but retail therapy might not be because it creates a different problem.

People to Call: I recommend choosing two trusted adults. They can be parents, but they don’t have to be. At least one should be a trusted adult who can be found in school.

Numbers to Call: These can be national suicide hotlines or local ones. 

Step Three:

The flip side of the Coping Card is where “wins and accomplishments” are recorded. This is to remind you of what you have accomplished. I have found that recording quotes people have written about or said about me is also good on the backside of the Coping Card. 

Step Four:
Choose where your Coping Card lives. The key is that it is easily accessible when you’re most likely to experience a disruption in your mental health. Ideas: purse, wallet, under the visor in your car, bedside drawer. 

Below is an example. As you can see, it doesn’t need to be fancy or perfect. Simply getting it done is the most important.

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert. She is a professional mental health public speaker with a niche in youth mental health and suicide prevention.  AnneMoss lost her younger son, Charles, to suicide in 2015 as a result of depression and addiction. The most devastating loss of her life was a turning point. While it took time to accept that purpose with grace, she has never looked back or regretted that decision. Below are some valuable links to help you in supporting your kids.



Parent Programs


Get the coping card ebook with a PDF and PowerPoint. 


More free books and ebooks here: 


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