There are certain topics we as a society don’t really want to think about, nor do we want to talk about them. Teen suicide is one of those taboo topics. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death in young people ages 15 – 24 according to the Center for Disease Control.
- Boys are four times more likely to die from suicide than girls.
- Girls are more likely to try to commit suicide than boys.
- Guns are used in more than half of all youth suicides.
What would cause a teen to attempt suicide?
The teen years can be stressful and today they are more stressful than ever. Their bodies are changing; they most likely have strong feelings of confusion, fear, doubt, perhaps not fitting in, or on the other end of the spectrum a huge pressure to succeed. For some teens, normal developmental changes can be overwhelming when combined with major life events such as:
- Changes in their families, such as divorce, a sibling moving out, or moving to a new town and school;
- Changes in friendship;
- Learning problems;
- Being bullied at school; and/or
- Trying to find their place where they fit in a feel comfortable.
These problems just may be too hard or embarrassing to overcome. For some, suicide may seem like a solution – a way to make the pain go away.
Which teens are more at risk for suicide?
- Abuse in the home – physical, mental and emotional;
- Those who engage in substance abuse;
- Impulsive behaviors;
- Being bullied or hurt;
- Family history of suicide;
- Past suicide attempt;
- Imprisonment; and/or
- Those who talk about committing suicide – take is seriously.
During all of our series of #seeitsayit articles, we have been encouraging young people to say something if they see something out of place or threatening. In this case, we as parents can’t ignore the signs, nor can we think this won’t happen to my child. If you see any of these signs or changes in behavior, it may be time to have your child evaluated by a physician or therapist. If you See It, Say It; this kind of discussion and awareness could save a life.
For more information, or if you have suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255 or click here – https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Additional Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, University of Rochester
For more information, or to apply, click here.