Youth Suicide Prevention

Youths are at risk for suicide when they are unable to resolve life’s stressors. Generally, kids who have good problem-solving skills and strong connections to friends and family are less likely to think about taking their lives.

It is important to take warning signs seriously. Children and adolescents often show these signs to their parents, peers or trusted school personnel.

Adolescence is a stressful time

Adolescence is a time of significant cognitive, mental, and emotional change. This transition can be stressful for many young people, especially if they’re facing adversity or other challenges.

They may struggle with feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness. In addition, the onset of puberty can cause a variety of physical changes and can be confusing. Many adolescents also have difficulty navigating relationships and living situations.

Psychologists are working to understand how factors like these contribute to suicide among youth, and what we can do about it. They’re also trying to improve their knowledge about how to assess adolescent risk, particularly for youth of color and LGBTQ+ adolescents.

If a teen has suicidal thoughts, it’s important to take them seriously. It’s also important to keep in mind that suicidal feelings are treatable, and that teens who experience depression need treatment. If a teen is reluctant to go to a mental health professional, you can try to persuade them to do so.

Adolescence is a time of transition

Adolescents are under intense pressure to achieve in school and other social activities. This can cause feelings of failure and hopelessness. This can lead to major psychological and behavioral problems and if untreated may become suicidal. Family and other relationships also influence suicide attempts in youths. Many youths who kill themselves report that their families do not understand them. Many are impacted by a history of violence or a feeling of being ignored.

Teens should be assessed by a mental health professional who specializes in adolescent mental illness. They should be told about any risk factors that increase the chance that they will kill themselves. These can include: a history of psychiatric disorders, family depression or the suicide of a loved one. They should also be evaluated for physical illness and the impact of stressors in their lives. They should be given help to deal with these stresses and a way to escape them. They should be kept away from weapons and other lethal materials.

Adolescence is a time of confusion

During the teen years, many kids have strong feelings of confusion, stress and fear. This may be a result of major changes in their body, and can affect their problem-solving skills. They may also feel pressure to succeed. During this time, they may become more withdrawn from family and friends. In addition, they may start using drugs and alcohol.

Those who have had previous depression or suicidal thoughts are at higher risk of suicide. Other risk factors include having access to lethal means, like guns or pills, and a history of impulsive behaviors. They may also have family or school conflicts or have a history of bullying or other traumas.

The best way to prevent suicide is by promoting effective care for mental illness. This includes ongoing relationships and making kids feel connected to professionals who take care of them. It also involves helping them find resources when they are at risk.

Adolescence is a time of hopelessness

The hopelessness that is a characteristic of adolescence is associated with psychopathology and high-risk behaviors, such as psychiatric symptoms, suicidal thoughts, substance use, and self-destructive behavior. It is important for young people to have access to resources that can help them overcome these difficulties.

The results indicate that overall hopelessness declines modestly across adolescence, consistent with previous findings in racially and socio-economically diverse samples of adolescents. Hopelessness is also associated with slower development of future orientation, suggesting that the general decline in hopelessness may reflect a change in the way in which negative life events are interpreted.

It is vital to take warning signs seriously, such as a sudden drop in school performance, avoiding friends and family, anxiety or doing dangerous things. Anyone who thinks their friend is suicidal should seek expert help right away. It is never a good idea to agree to keep a friend’s suicidal thoughts secret. They must always be taken seriously.