Suicide is not only common in teens. Recent studies have shown that the age for suicide deaths is getting younger. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with warning signs, statements to watch out for, and some questions you might ask your child or loved one.
What are the warning signs of youth suicide?
- Social isolation or complete social withdrawal
- Changes in behavior (at work or school)
- Physical injuries without good explanations
- Cuts on arms or legs
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Suicide notes or plans
- Any type of suicide comments
- Signs of depression (sad, loss of appetite, feelings of failure or shame)
- Giving away prized possessions
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs
- Signs of frustration
- Sudden mood swings
- Secretive about whereabouts or activities
- Lack of concentration or energy level
- Loss of confidence
What are some statements to be concerned about?
- "I just want to die."
- "I'm worthless."
- "I want to go to sleep and never wake up."
- "What if I just kill myself."
- Or any other statements similar to those above.
Important questions to ask your child or loved one
- Is there anything I can do to help you?
- Are there any problems at school or with relationships in your family or with friends?
- When did you begin feeling this way?
- Have you been having thoughts of hurting yourself?
- Show support, concern, and compassion when having this conversation.
What to do?
- Remain calm
- Remove all means of self-harm
- Do not judge, keep an open mind
- Listen without interrupting
- Ask the youth directly if he/she is thinking about suicide
- Provide constant supervision, Do Not leave the youth alone
- Reassure them that there is help, suicide is not the answer and things can be better.
- GET HELP!
Where do I get help?
- San Joaquin County Department of Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 209.468.8686
- Suicidal Hotline: 1.800.SUICIDE
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center: http://www.sprc.org
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1.877.727.4747 or 1.800.273.TALK
- For immediate assistance or for an emergency call 911
90% of teens that die from suicide had a treatable mental illness (most often depression) at the time of their death. More than 32,000 people die by suicide each year in America. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 11 - 18-year-olds. 15% of U.S. High School students report serious thoughts of killing themselves in the past year. 7% of those teens actually attempted suicide. 60-80% of teens who suffer from depression go untreated. For every completed suicide, an estimated 8 to 25 attempts occur. Males are at higher risk for suicide, one female dies by suicide for every four males. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
Provided Dec. 09 - by Los Angeles County CAP