Prevention of Youth Suicide

youth suicide

Youth suicide can be caused by a range of factors. They may include bullying, family conflicts, mental disorders and access to lethal means. They also may include drugs and alcohol. Teenagers who are grossly agitated can also be at risk of suicide.

It is important to take any suicidal threat seriously. Whether they are a threat to themselves or others, these threats should not be ignored.

Suicide is a choice

Young people are by nature vulnerable to mental health problems. Adolescence is a time of movement and changes, particularly in multiple domains at once. These changes, combined with adolescent personality traits, mental disorders and triggering psychosocial stressors, increase vulnerability to suicide.

Despite this, suicide can be prevented. Pediatric health clinicians, adults working with youth in schools and community settings, families, and youth themselves can all play a role in identifying and supporting youth who are at risk.

Linear trends during 2009-2019 indicate that adolescent suicide attempts have increased, with significant increases by sex and grade. These findings are consistent with previous research, and suggest that a sex-by-grade approach is needed to implement suicide prevention activities. General limitations for YRBS trend analyses are available in the overview report of this supplement (4).

It is a problem

Youth are particularly susceptible to suicide because their judgment and decision-making abilities are still developing. They are also vulnerable to external pressures and societal expectations. The stress of adolescence can lead to feelings of hopelessness, confusion and despair, which can make it seem like there’s no way out.

A suicide attempt is often a response to intense and overwhelming feelings, but it can also be triggered by a specific event or situation. The death of a close friend or family member, relationship break-ups, a diagnosis of a mental illness, drug or alcohol use, or a significant change in sleep patterns can all increase the risk of suicide.

If your child has suicidal thoughts, they should always be taken seriously. You should encourage them to talk with you and a trusted adult about their feelings and seek professional help. It’s also important to keep guns and other lethal tools out of their reach. It is common for teens to seek treatment at inpatient facilities, which provides a safe and controlled environment while they receive care.

It is a public health issue

Youth suicide is a public health issue because it affects individuals, families, and communities. Each suicide can impact up to 135 people, highlighting the need for prevention efforts to address a variety of factors. These include physical and mental health, family dynamics, access to community resources, cultural influences, and the availability of lethal means.

Adolescents are especially vulnerable to suicide because their judgment and decision-making abilities have not fully developed. This is due to the fact that their prefrontal cortex does not mature until they reach their mid-20s.

It is important to remember that any child or adolescent who is thinking about suicide should be evaluated immediately by a mental health professional. It is also important to recognize that suicide can be the result of many different things, including stress and depression. Mental health professionals can also help by identifying risk factors, such as previous attempts, a history of substance abuse, or genetic loading. They can also help identify protective factors, such as family support and good communication.

It is treatable

There is much that can be done to prevent youth suicide. Pediatric health clinicians, teachers, adults who work with kids in schools and community settings, family members, friends and peers can all play a role in prevention and care of at-risk youth.

Teens who feel loved, supported and able to problem solve are less likely to think of suicide. It is also important to avoid taking a teen’s suicidal thoughts lightly or promising to keep them secret, as this can increase their risk of dying by suicide.

A teen who is exhibiting signs of depression should be evaluated by a doctor and treated with one-on-one counselling, psychological therapy and medication. This will improve the teen’s quality of life and give them a toolbox of coping mechanisms that will be useful once they reach adulthood. Restricting access to firearms and other means of self-harm is another important preventive measure. Information for local crisis centres and help lines is available in the telephone book or online.