Some questions concerned parents might ask themselves:
* Is your adolescent under unusual stress, such as parental divorce, death of a grandparent, breakup of a friendship or boy-girl relationship?
* Is your adolescent talking openly about stress and mastering the problems, or are there worrisome signs such as withdrawal, prolonged depression, missing excessive school days and increasing isolation from friends?
* Is there a history of a desperate "solution" in your adolescent's life--for example has a relative or friend used suicide to put an end to unbearable pain?
If you feel you have reason for concern, consider the following courses of action:
1. Intrude. Force yourself on your child and refuse to be rejected. Your teen-ager will likely get angry, but might give you an explanation.
2. Don't be afraid--if the signs are adding up--to ask your child directly if he or she is considering suicide. Confronting the subject--rather than avoiding it--could help clear the air. Talking about suicide does not "put ideas in one's head."
3. Get appropriate help. Contact teachers and friends and ask if they, too, are worried. Ask teachers about available resources at the school, including counseling services. Also available: hot lines, suicide-prevention centers, community mental-health clinics, psychiatrists and other psychotherapists.