Saving your child: Suicide prevention in teens

Saving your child: Suicide prevention in teens

Teens with suicidal thoughts and the desire to carry out those thoughts should be taken extremely seriously. Suicide prevention in teens should begin as soon as you begin to see the signs of suicidal ideation. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. It’s a growing health concern and you can help prevent it by knowing the signs of suicidal ideation and behavior. Suicide prevention in teens is not easy, but you can take steps to help your teen overcome their suicidal ideation.

Signs of suicidal ideation and behavior

Suicide is often a means of escape for people who feel as though life has become unbearable. Most teens who are suicidal display warning signs of their behavior before they carry out the act. Suicidal prevention in teens begins by recognizing those signs.

suicide prevention

Image source- flickr user: ktoine


Suicidal ideation and behavior can be influenced by psychological, social, and environmental factors. Signs of suicidal thoughts and  behavior include:

  • Worrisome changes in behavior: Withdrawing from friends and once enjoyed activities, irritability and hostility, changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Self destructive behavior: Abusing drugs and alcohol, reckless driving, and generally acting as though they have a death wish.
  • Making threats: Writing about, talking about, and making plans for suicide.
  • Stressful situations: If a teen has recently underwent a stressful situation, such as getting in trouble at school or with the law, experiencing loss, or experiencing personal humiliation, they are more likely to consider suicide.
  • Feelings of hopelessness: Hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide. Teens who feel like their future is bleak, and state that they have nothing to look forward to may be at a high risk of suicide.
  • Preoccupied with death: Focusing on death, dying and violence.
  • Forming a plan: If you notice Internet searches related to methods of suicide, or if your teen begins to obtain the objects necessary to carry out suicide (guns, rope, drugs), this is probably the most obvious sign of suicidal behavior.

How you can help

Suicide prevention in teens should be proactive. If you begin noticing warning signs in teens, you need to act as quickly as possible. Contact a professional and get your teen the therapeutic help they need. Help your teen create a safety plan in case they’re feeling like they will carry out the act. Figure out triggering events like anniversaries of traumatic experiences or stress and make sure they have contact numbers to call in case this happens. Remove all potential means of suicide like guns, knives, rope, and drugs. Continue your support and make sure you’re there for your teen. Make sure they know you care.

ViewPoint Center has solutions

As a teen mental health hospital with expertise for suicide prevention in teens, ViewPoint Center can help your teen work through whatever is causing their suicidal ideation and behavior. ViewPoint Center utilizes a model of diagnostic assessment and treatment to help teens work through the issues causing behavior to occur in the first place.

For more information about ViewPoint Center, please call 801-825-5222.


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