It is not just adults who suffer from depression, stress, confusion, anxiety and so on. Teens also have a lot going on in their lives, some more so than others, but everyone reacts to outside stressors in different ways, and mental illness happens across all ages. It is why having suicide prevention training within the community is so important. Placed in certain positions, such as schools, people with the right training can better help teens in need and lower the staggering number of suicides there are.
Resources to help
Suicide prevention resources and their lack thereof is one of the key reasons rates of suicide are so high in teens. With the right resources, and in the right places, teens are more likely to overcome the hard situations they are in and learn how to deal with their feelings. They can also learn how to cope better and communicate better when they are feeling hopeless and feel like things are insurmountable. This is what leads to suicidal thoughts and attempts. Whether the teen is turning to suicide to get attention or help or really do intend to end their life, they need help.
Being aware of the precipitating factors
In order to have the best success at preventing suicide, it helps to identify what factors to observe leading up to it, so people are aware of the warning signs. Often a teen will deny being suicidal, not wanting to talk about it, feeling judged, or not wanting to be stopped. But if there are other factors you can see and identify in their thinking patterns, behaviour and so on you can have a chance of stopping it when you see it. Suicide prevention training is a part of that. Warning signs can include;
- Withdrawing socially from friends as well as family and isolating themselves from having to socially engage with people
- Making preparations for their death such as making a list of who gets their belongings and who they want to look after their pet
- Feeling no hope for the future and that nothing will ever get better
- Feeling worthless, expressing feelings of self-hate and loathing, seeing themselves as just a burden to everyone
- Self-harming such as cutting or burning, or self-destructive actions such as driving too fast, experimenting with drugs and alcohol and so on
- Being overly preoccupied with dying and death in general, imaging the world without them and thinking it would be better, wishing they had never been born
- Making visits to family to say goodbye and acting as though they will never see them again
- Suddenly changing from being depressed and withdrawn and hopless to being very calm, this can be something that happens just before they make the attempt
- Collecting implements like pills, knives, guns and talking about how they would commit suicide
With suicide prevention resources and training for schools, community centers, parents and more, it is possible to help a lot of teens.