Suicide Awareness And Teens
Suicide and suicidal ideation is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern society. With so many additional stressors from the media, news, and peer pressure, some teens end up in situations in which they feel so powerless, depressed, and alone that they think suicide is a more attractive option. Luckily, it can be prevented with the right intervention if those around them recognize the warning sizes and react appropriately. Increasing suicide awareness in teens will go a long way toward helping address this critical issue. It is important for parents to be aware of these signs so that they can seek help for their children if necessary.
Warning Signs of Suicide in Teens
Suicide is a major problem in the United States, and it is especially common among teenagers and young adults. In fact, suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24 (1). There are several warning signs that parents can look out for, including:
- talking about wanting to die or hurt oneself
- expressing feelings of hopelessness
- talking about being a burden to others
- increasing alcohol or drug abuse
- withdrawing from friends and activities
- abnormal mood swings
- giving away prized possessions (2)
What To Do Next
If you notice these warning signs in your teenager, it is important to seek help right away. There are several resources available to you to help prevent suicide. The first step is to talk to your child’s doctor or pediatrician. They can refer you to a mental health professional who can provide counseling and treatment. Additionally, there are several hotlines available that offer support and crisis intervention. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides 24/7 support (3). The Crisis Text Line is another resource that offers free crisis counseling via text message (4). Lastly, there are many websites and online support groups available that offer information and support for people who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide. Some of these websites include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Compassionate Friends, and Survivors of Suicide (5).
It is important for parents to be aware of the warning signs of suicide in teenagers and know where to find help if necessary. By being proactive and seeking help early, we can reduce the number of suicides among our youth.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.
988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. (Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.) You can also text “HOME” to 741741 if you would rather talk with a volunteer Crisis Counselor via text message or WhatsApp.
Residential Care for Helping Suicidal Ideation and At-Risk Teens
Do you believe your child may need more than just an intervention? Discover Seven Stars is a residential treatment program for teens that helps work through many psychological and emotional neurodevelopmental issues that are common amongst teens. Our program combines dedicated psychiatric support, occupational therapy, speech and language resources, and structured physical activities to help teens address specific emotional and behavioral problems, developmental skills, and knowledge deficits. If you think that intermediate to long-term residential care would be right for your child, please contact us and a trusted professional can help determine if Discover Seven Stars is appropriate.
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2017). Data and Statistics on Suicide. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db309.htm
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2018). Warning Signs of Suicide. https://afsp.org/risk-factors-protective-factors-and-warning-signs
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (2018). How It Works. Retrieved from https://988lifeline.org/about
- Crisis Text Line. (2018). How It Works. Retrieved from https://www.crisistextline.org/how-it-works/
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (n.d.). Support After a Suicide Attempt or Death. https://afsp.org/find-a-local-chapter/