25 May Away From Crisis: Preventing Suicidal Thoughts Among Teens
The number of teens who experience suicidal thoughts is growing at a rapid pace. The number of hospitalizations as a result of suicidal thoughts or attempts nearly doubled from 2008 to 2015.
Warning Signs of Suicidal Thoughts
Thoughts of suicide among teens can vary from a passing thought to making concrete plans to end one’s life. Suicidal thoughts can stem from untreated depression. If your teenager is having suicidal thoughts, here are some warning signs to look out for:
- Sudden isolation or removal from social interactions
- Self-destructive or risk-taking behavior
- Looking for and/or acquiring means to commit suicide, such as getting a gun or a lot of medication
- Extreme mood swings
- Frequently talking about death or dying
- Saying things like, “I wish I were dead” or “I wish I had never been born”
- Giving away possessions for no particular reason
- Expressing hopelessness or a feeling of being trapped with no way out
- Changing sleeping, eating or other patterns
- Making a point to say goodbye to people
- Beginning to use alcohol or drugs, or using them more frequently
- Changing obvious characteristics of their personality
- Becoming extremely agitated, upset, depressed and/or anxious
It should be noted that the warning signs will look different on each individual or sometimes there will be no warning signs at all, but if you think your child is showing signs of suicidal thoughts or just has not been themselves, you should IMMEDIATELY seek help.
How You Can Help
Talk about it. Research shows talking to your teen about suicide can help decrease the likelihood of reoccurring suicidal thoughts.
Stay calm. Address the situation calmly. A lot of teenagers don’t want to talk to their parents because they are afraid they will “freak out”. You should approach your child calmly and let them know you are there for them.
Seek professional help. Take advantage of the resources available that deal with this specific issue.
Lock up or remove firearms, medicines, cleaners, and anything else that can be used to cause self-harm in the home. Make sure your home is free from temptation for your teen to act upon their thoughts.
Monitor social media. Keep track your child’s online activity. Look for disturbing searches, negative posts, and emotional pleas. Software like Teensafe can provide access to cell phone records, social media accounts, and GPS tracking.
There are various hotlines and online resources that can provide help for you and your teen experiencing suicidal thoughts such as:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).
ViewPoint Center: Providing Care and Support for Your Teen
ViewPoint Center is a comprehensive therapeutic assessment facility licensed as a specialty psychiatric hospital with 24-hour nursing. The facility is dedicated to providing a stable program tailored to fit the unique needs of teen’s struggling with mental disorders. The 6-7 week program consists of various tracks that the teen will follow to seek proper treatment for their diagnoses. We can help your teen today!
Contact us at 801-825-5222