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Suicide Prevention

Suicide AwarenessIn 2016, there were 45,000 deaths caused by suicide which is a 30% increase since 1999. In teenagers, suicide has become the leading cause of death. It is the 3rd leading cause for ages 15-24 and a startling 4th leading cause for ages 10-14. It can be difficult to decipher whether or not your teen is suicidal because many of the warning signs for suicide can be typical teenage behavior. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs and risks for teen suicide.
 
Risks:
Depression (#1 risk for teenagers)
Family history of suicide
Substance abuse
Access to firearms
Serious or chronic illness
History of abuse or trauma
Divorce of parents
Not being successful in school
Feeling worthless 
Bullying
Death of a friend or loved one
 
Warning signs:
Making threats or comments about killing themselves
Increased use of drugs or alcohol
Aggressiveness 
Withdrawing from friends and family 
Mood swings
Impulsive behavior and recklessness
 
Signs of imminent danger for suicide:
Giving away of possessions 
Saying goodbye to friends and family
Their mood changes from despair to calm
Planning their method of suicide and gathering tools to complete it. (Borrowing/stealing/buying firearms or prescription medications)
 
If you believe your child or someone you know is in imminent danger for suicide, do not leave them alone and get help by calling 911 or the Suicide Prevention Hotline 800-273-TALK (8255).
 
If you think you or your child is suffering from depression, please talk to a doctor and get professional help. Seek advice before taking any medication as some antidepressants can have the opposite effect on teenagers, leading to an increased risk for suicide. 
 
Teens at risk for suicide need respect, understanding, and unconditional love from family and friends. Offering emotional support and being there to guide them through tough situations that they are facing is the best way to prevent feelings of hopelessness that can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. 
 
If you, your child, or loved one are having suicidal thoughts or considering suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255)