Teen suicide: Risk factors, warning signs and prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 to 24.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Lifeline crisis chat. In an emergency, call 911.

WARNING SIGNS

Sources: National Prevention Suicide Lifeline, National Alliance for Mental Illness

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  •  Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings; sudden changes in personality
  • Running away from home

TEEN SUICIDE RISK FACTORS

Source: Child Mind Institute

  • A recent or serious loss;  might include the death of a family member, a friend or a pet. The separation or a divorce of parents, or a breakup with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, can also be felt as a profound loss, along with a parent losing a job, or the family losing their home.
  • A psychiatric disorder, particularly a mood disorder like depression, or a trauma- and stress-related disorder.
  • Prior suicide attempts increase risk for another suicide attempt.
  • ·Alcohol and other substance use disorders, as well as getting into a lot of trouble, having disciplinary problems, engaging in a lot of high-risk behaviors.
  • Struggling with sexual orientation in an environment that is not respectful or accepting of that orientation. The issue is not whether a child is gay or lesbian, but whether he or she is struggling to come out in an unsupportive environment.
  • A family history of suicide is something that can be really significant and concerning, as is a history of domestic violence,…

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