The most important thing a parent can do, according to Randy Paige, is ask questions.

“The goal is to ensure your kids that there is nothing too bad to talk to your parents about,” Paige told dozens of mental health professionals at the fifth annual Suicide Prevention Symposium of the Coastal Bend.

Paige, whose son Colten killed himself in December 2015, was guest speaker at the Sept. 12 conference on East Campus. The event brought together several local groups to discuss ways prevent suicide. 

“Why didn’t we ask the right questions? We asked the questions we knew we would get the answers we wanted,” Paige said, urging other parents to ask their own kids the tough questions.

Groups including NAMI, CCPD, Bay View Behavioral Hospital, DMC, MHID, SAFE, TAMUCC, Avail Solutions Inc., HEB and more attended the symposium.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The National Alliance on Mental Illness-Greater Corpus Christi chapter advocates for those affected by suicide, raises mental health awareness, and provides free classes and training as well as connects people with treatment services.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide warning signs include:

TALK: Feeling trapped, being a burden to others, experiencing unbearable pain.

MOOD: Depression, loss of interest, irritability, anxiety, rage, humiliation.

BEHAVIOR: Increased use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawing from activates, giving away prized possessions, isolating from friends and family, sleeping too little or too much, acting recklessly, aggression.

The DMC Counseling Office serves over 4,000 students annually. All services are free for DMC students. Contact: 361-698-1586 or counseling@delmar.edu to learn more about services. 

If you or anybody you know has any suicidal thoughts or actions, call the NAMI Crisis Line at 888-767-4493 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. 

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