When a child makes a serious threat, it shouldn’t be dismissed as just idle talk.
Parents, teachers, or other adults should immediately talk with the child. If it is determined that the child is at risk and/or the child refuses to talk, is argumentative, responds defensively, or continues to express violent or dangerous thoughts or plans, arrangements should be made for an immediate assessment by a mental health professional with experience evaluating children and adolescents.
Evaluation of any serious threat must be done in the context of the individual child’s past behavior, personality, and current stressors.
In an emergency situation or if the child or family refuses help, it may be necessary to contact local police for assistance or take the child to the nearest emergency room for evaluation.
Children who have made serious threats must be carefully supervised while awaiting professional intervention. Immediate evaluation and appropriate ongoing treatment of youngsters who make serious threats can help the troubled child and reduce the risk of tragedy.
More information on Self-Harm or Suicide Ideation.