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Friendship skills are important protective factors in suicide prevention

September 29th, 2020     By Boys Town Contributor

Boys Town, Boys Town Parenting, Connecting with Teens, Corona Virus COVID-19, Kids and Teens in Crisis, Mental Health, Parenting Resources, Stress

​​Friendships are extremely important when it comes to emotional health, both for adults and children. Research shows it's not how many friends children have that matters. Instead, it's the quality of one or two good relationships that makes the difference.

Preliminary Family Home Program data from Boys Town also shows teaching social skills to kids about peer relations – e.g., building healthy relationships, choosing good friends, resisting peer pressure and maintaining friendships – are related to fewer incidents of suicide thoughts and plans. Having a good friend or two gives children a healthy outlet to communicate their concerns, dreams and fears which can help them feel less alone or isolated. When you teach your kids friendship skills, you are giving them the gift of friendship and also an important protective factor that can aid in suicide prevention.

Like most things in your children's lives, relationship skills also need to be taught so children can be successful at them. The following links provide you with tips and suggestions to use with your children to help them learn how to build and maintain positive, healthy friendships.

Together, we can teach children the skills that will keep them safe and the tools that they need to thrive.​

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