The rate of suicides has increased at an alarming rate in recent years and that is true of suicides in youths also. Having a better understanding, open conversations and suicide prevention training and resources have never been so important. There are more than 100 suicides a day, and while females are three to four times as likely to make an attempt, males are more likely to commit suicide successfully. In youths, it is one of the top leading causes of death. Most teens use firearms, and after that is suffocation and then poisoning.
Teens are under a lot of pressure
People tend to think the stress of life doesn’t come until adulthood when money worries, jobs, and appearances become so important. But teens have never been under so much pressure as they are today. Grades, schools, the right clubs, having to work as well as study, peers, society, teachers, the internet, parents and more. It is also a time when they are becoming more aware of things like sexual development and self-identity. With community support and the use of valuable suicide prevention resources teens have a better chance of finding ways to cope with the stress and their emotions.
Suicide risk factors
A few factors that can increase the risk of a teen attempting suicide include;
- Feelings of hopelessness and being overwhelmed by such emotions.
- Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and disorders connected to drug abuse and alcohol abuse.
- Having attempted suicide before, or having suicide and depression a part of their family history.
- Being very obsessed with death, doodling and drawing about it, writing about it, talking about it.
- Feeling worthless, which is made worse by grades that are dropping, issues with violence at home, being isolated from family, friends and people in general.
- Coming to the realization they are gay but have a family that is unsupportive, and have peers who are bullying them over it.
- Dealing with abuse of any kind.
Suicide prevention is only possible when people recognize what the signs are and talk about things. Ignoring them and trying to pretend it is not happening does not change things. If you know someone you are worried about you need to open up a conversation with them, and if you are a teen yourself, you need to let a responsible adult know. You should encourage them to talk to someone, get professional help and stay in touch with them. Encourage them to make positive changes if possible. There are also helplines you can suggest and websites they can go to where there are resources to help them.
It is often the case when someone commits suicide that there were signs beforehand that people saw but did not recognize or were not sure what to do about. Check out the many suicide prevention resources available now and use them to help you so that you are not in that situation one day as well.