Suicides among adolescents

Suicides among adolescents

Suicides among adolescents continue to be a serious problem here in the United States. For middle and high school age youth (ages 12-18), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death (The Jason Foundation). According to the Jason Foundation website, each day in our nation, there are an average of over 3,041 attempts by young people grades 9-12. Here are some contributing factors:

1. Depression, mental illness, low self-esteem, and substance abuse.

2. Aggression and fighting, with both males and females.

3. Home environment-lack of parental support or alienation from the family.

4. Previous attempts-suicides attempts increase in those that have made other attempts.

5. School environment-lack of teacher caring and poor relationships with peers.

6. Family history/mental stresses-family history of mental disorder or suicides.

7. Situational crisis-death of a loved one, sexual abuse, or parental divorce.

8. Gay or lesbian youth.

Here are signs and symptoms of an adolescent considering suicide:

1. Talking about suicide or preoccupation with death.

2. Making statements about feeling worthless, helpless, or hopeless.

3. A deepened depression.

4. Loss of interest the teen normally cares about.

5. Giving prized possessions away or making arrangements of one’s affair.

6. Out of character behavior.

Preventative measures can be taken to assist adolescents that are considering suicide or displaying signs of suicide. First, parents can look for warning signs. Sometimes parents believe their child is “just looking for attention” when the child states they want to hurt or kill themselves. If teens are ignored when seeking attention, it may increase their chances of harming themselves. Secondly, watch and listen; this includes parents and close family and friends. It’s important to try to keep the lines of communication open and express your concern, support, and love. If your teen confides in you, show that you take those concerns seriously. Thirdly, ask questions and get help for the teen. As a parent, don’t be reluctant to ask your teen if they are ok when the teen displays signs of suicide. The parent can explain why they have concerns and want to help. Talk to a teen that recently had a death in the family or close friend. Get help by seeing if your doctor can refer the teen to a psychiatrist or give the teen a suicide prevention hotline number.

Some nursing interventions can be to offer the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (24-hour hotline for anyone considering suicide or emotional distress), actively listen to the teen and offer local resources/pamphlets, educate parents about warning signs and advise them what they can do to help, and ask the teen what you can do to help.

Here are to local resources for the Las Vegas community to help teens struggling with thoughts of suicide:

1. State of Nevada Suicide Prevention. This is a local resource center for anyone that needs help and has thoughts of suicide. In addition, this can also help educate parents about warning signs and what they can do to help their teens. They offer a 24-hour hotline and a location that anyone can come to for help and resources. Their address, phone number, and website are:

3811 W Charleston Blvd Ste 210

Las Vegas, NV 89102

United States

Phone: (702) 486-8225

2. H.O.P.E. Counseling Services. HOPE stands for healing, overcoming, preventing, empowering. This is a 24-hour hotline that teens and others can call for when they are in a crisis or need counseling. Their 24-hour hotline number is 702-731-2990.

References About Teen Suicide. Retrieved from:

The Jason Foundation. Facts and Stats. Retrieved from:


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Suicides among adolescents


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