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The Doctors examine the alarming and rising rates of teen suicide with psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser and Nicolette from "Undercover High," the new A&E series in which young adults pose as students to find out what is really going on in high schools.
While posing as a high school student, Nicolette says she experienced bullying, harassment, and slut shaming.
Stacy explains that many of the things that Nicolette experienced while undercover can contribute to suicide. She shares some tips and takeaways for parents to keep in mind regarding their teens and their behavior, which include:
- Know the language that your teens are using, such as the acronym "KMS" which means, "kill myself"
- Stay connected with your teen and continue to build your relationship
- Don't ask, "How was your day" right when your child walks in the door, wait until later in the night until they have relaxed and unwind
- Stay connected with your child's teachers and coaches as they might be the one first aware of a possible problem
While serving as a consultant on the A&E series, Stacy says that one of the most concerning things she learned was how certain teens used language in new and shocking ways. One example is the use of the word rape, which she says is now used by teens both as a sexual assault but also to communicate the desire to have sex with someone.
She also urges parents to make sure we teach our children, especially young girls, to feel empowered to stand up for themselves.
Another aspect of high school that has changed is the use and power of social media. Nicollette says that when the school day ended, she experienced bullying online at all hours of the day. Stacy recommends that parents have passwords to all of their child's accounts and to make sure if they are cyberbullied that they come forward and speak to someone about it.
For more information and resources on suicide prevention, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-TALK, or visit The Suicide Prevention Resource Center website.