Teen suicide is unfathomable, yet it is disturbingly common in the US. In fact, the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in deaths and attempts, making it a crisis. Learn about teen suicide so you can become informed and keep it from happening in your home.
Stats on Suicide According to S.A.V.E
- 1 in 100,000 children (ages 10-14) die by suicide
- 7 in 100,000 youth (ages 15-19) die by suicide
- Suicide has increased by 60% in the US since 1990
- It is the second most common cause of death in teens after car accidents
- Black teens are more likely to attempt suicide
- LGBTQ+ teens are most likely to consider suicide
- Girls and women experience depression 2x the rate of boys and men
- Girls are prone to suicidal ideation but boys are likely to die from suicide
There is no one size fits all explanation as to why people attempt or commit suicide, nor who will do it. Suicide can be impulsive or planned out. However, there are certain demographics that are more at-risk. Teens with mental health issues, family history of mental health issues, substance misuse disorder, family history of suicide, and teens suffering from any type of abuse in their relationships or homes are more prone to attempting suicide. Life circumstances can also contribute to suicidal thinking and attempt.
- Loss of loved one
- Being bullied
- Academic pressures
- Parent divorce
- Moving to a new school
- Conflict in friendships
- Exposure to suicide from peers, news, or fictional stories
- Social isolation
- Lack of a support system
Signs of depression can indicate that a teen is thinking about suicide. While not every teen will exhibit symptoms of depression, it is best to take action if you see the warning signs.
What To Look Out For:
- Excessive mood changes
- Moping around or crying spells
- Withdrawn from family and friends
- Academic performance decline
- Loss of interest in activities
- Change in eating or sleeping habits
- Acting out
- Secretive behavior
- Running away
- Ditching school
- Change in appearance and hygiene
- Unusual impulsive behavior or risk-taking
How to Support Your At-Risk Teen
Check-In: Routinely ask your teen what their mental state is and if they would like to talk about what they are feeling. Be open to hearing their thoughts and feelings without criticism. Offer advice if they choose to ask for it.
Join Therapy: Have your child join group therapy so they can have additional support from peers their age and in similar situations. You can also participate in family therapy sessions to discuss issues with the help of mental health professional.
Make the Home Safe: Keep weapons, prescription and lethal over-the-counter meds, and poisons safely away from your teen.
Stay Engaged: Join your teen is participating in hobbies, errands, chores, events, and activities together. Get to know their interests, who they hang out with, what inspires them, what they aspire to be, how they are doing in school, etc.
Limit Tech Use: Too much screen time can negatively affect your teen’s mental health. Have your teen unplug a couple of hours before bed so they can sleep well.
Drug rehabilitation for teens can offer support to teens dealing with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. For more information on teen rehab in Los Angeles, call Insight Treatment at 888.295.9995.