Million & Counting
cALL 800-273-8255 or
text "sos" to 741741
Prevention, Children Ages 10 to 19
Prevention, Children Ages 10 to 19 Years
In New York State (NYS), suicide is the leading cause of
injury death for children ages 10 to 14 years and the fourth
leading cause for children ages 15 to 19 years. Teenage
males are much more likely to die by suicide than females.
Young males are less likely to seek help or talk about their
feelings. They are also more likely than females to use
fatal means (such as guns, hanging, or jumping from heights)
to attempt suicide.
As a parent or caregiver, you can play
a major role in identifying if a young person is considering
What are suicidal
- Suicide occurs when someone
purposely kills him/herself.
- A suicide attempt occurs when
someone tries to kill him/herself but does not succeed.
The person who survives may have serious injuries such as
brain damage, broken bones, and organ failure. The
survivor may also have depression or other mental health
- Suicidal ideation occurs when
someone is thinking about ending his/her
Why do teens commit
There are many reasons why teens
become suicidal. A suicide rarely has just one
The teen years are an extremely
stressful time for many children. Untreated mental illness,
especially depression, is the leading cause for suicide.
Many people who die be suicide suffer from untreated or
poorly treated depression resulting from difficult life
experiences.These life experiences might include family
changes or illness, loss of family or friends, and feeling
lonely, helpless, hopeless or depressed.
How do I know if my teen is at risk
The following factors may increase the
risk of suicide or attempted suicide. However, these risk
factors do not always lead to a suicide.
- Depression and other mental
disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder (often combined
with other mental disorders)
- Feeling hopeless and
- Previous suicide
- Physical illness
- Feeling detached and isolated from
friends, peers and family
- Family history of suicide, mental
illness, or depression
- Family violence, including
physical or sexual abuse
- Access to a weapon in the
- Knowing someone with suicidal
behavior, such as a family member, friend , or
- Coping with being gay
(homosexuality) in an unsupportive family, community, or
hostile school environment
- Incarceration (time in
What factors can help protect my
teen from becoming suicidal?
- Effective medical treatment for
mental and physical health problems and substance
- Strong support network of friends,
family, peer groups or outside activities
- Skills in solving problems,
resolving conflicts and handling disputes without
- Cultural and/or religious beliefs
that discourage suicide
What are warning signs or behaviors
that my teen may be thinking about suicide?
Teen suicide often occurs after a
recent stressful life event in the family, with a friend, or
at school. It is important for you to know the warning signs
for suicide so you can get your teen the help she/he needs.
A teen who is considering suicide might have one or more of
- Suicidal ideation (thinking,
writing, drawing or talking about suicide, death, dying
or the afterlife)
- Dependence on alcohol or
- Lack of a sense of purpose in
- Trouble focusing or thinking
- Increased withdrawal from family,
friends, school, jobs and society. Poor grades may be a
sign that the child is withdrawing at school.
- Lack of interest in favorite
- Reckless or risk-taking
- Rash, bizarre or violent
- Changed eating or sleeping
patterns (such as being unable to sleep or sleeping all
- Deep feelings of grief,
uncontrolled anger, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, guilt
What are signs that my teen may
have a suicide plan?
- Threatening to or talking about
wanting to hurt or kill him/herself
- Creating suicide notes
- Expressing odd or troubling
- Showing a dramatic change in
personality or appearance
- Throwing or giving away or
promising to give away valued possessions to family
members or friends
- Talking about not being around in
the future or "going away"
- Searching for and trying to obtain
weapons, pills, or other means ways to kill
How can I help a teen who is
thinking or talking about suicide?
Do not ignore these warning
- Talk openly with your child and
express concern, support, and love. If your child does
not feel comfortable talking to you, suggest that s/he
talk to another trusted adult such as a family member, a
pastor, minister, rabbi or priest, a coach, a school
counselor, or a family doctor.
- Do not leave your teen
- Remove the objects your child
might use to harm him/herself. Make sure your teen does
not have access to guns, other possible weapons or
- Seek help immediately
- Your child's doctor;
- Mental health services (Ask your
doctor for a referral.);
- The nearest emergency
- Emergency services (911);
- A suicide hotline.
How can I find a suicide
- National Suicide Prevention
National Crisis Text Line Text "SOS" to
- The Trevor Helpline:
1-800-850-8078), (specializes in gay and lesbian suicide
- National Hopeline Network:
1-800-442 HOPE (1.800.442.4673)
Where can I find more information
about youth suicide?
designates broken links.