Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people aged 15 to 24.
Over half of all youth who suffer from depression will attempt suicide at least once, and more than seven percent of these will die as a result.
Four times as many men commit suicide than women. Young women attempt suicide three times more frequently than young men.
- Fifty-three percent of young people who commit suicide abuse substances like alcohol or drugs.
Firearms are used in more than half of all youth suicides.
Depression increases the risk of a first suicide attempt by at least 14-fold.
Important behaviors to look for include the giving away of favorite possessions or “cleaning house.” A sudden uplift in mood from a depressive period may also be of concern because by deciding to end their lives, they may think they have “found the solution”.
Young people who’ve attempted suicide in the past or who talk about suicide are at greater risk of future attempts. Verbal or written expressions expressing an interest in suicide may also be hints of suicidal ideation and heightened risk. These comments may include the following: “I’d be better off dead,” or “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” (“Let’s talk facts about teen suicide,” 2005, n.p.).
Troubled teenagers need a support network of individuals they can turn to in times of emotional crisis or need.
People who live and work with young people need to pay attention to possible signs of emotional distress. They need to be part of a larger support network to ensure the well-being of the young people.
Let’s talk facts about teen suicide. (2005). American Psychiatric Association. n.p.