Teen Suicide Warning Signs and Prevention

Teen Suicide Warning Signs

Teen Suicide Prevention Guide

Evidence shows that there is no single cause for suicide and no single action that will prevent suicide. However, Pinnacle Behavioral Health professionals are skilled in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which has proven to be effective in treating depression and anxiety. Pinnacle Behavioral Health also supports comprehensive and coordinated efforts across organizations so that a patient or student’s needs can be identified, individualized treatment plans can be developed and precautions put into place to prevent the escalation to suicide.

Teens and Suicide

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 36,909 people died from suicide in the United States in 2009, the most recent year for which these data are available. This is an increase from 36,035 in 2008. In addition to these numbers are those that contemplate suicide and engage in self-harm behaviors. Suicide-related thoughts and behaviors are common among youth. According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than 1 in 7 high school students nationwide reported having seriously considered attempting suicide in the 12 months before the survey; and 1 in 13 students reported having attempted suicide in the past year. * 

Suicide is one of the top three causes of death in young people 15–24 years of age along with unintentional injuries and homicides. Having a mental and/or a substance use disorder can greatly increase the risk for suicidal behaviors. Suicide rates are particularly high among individuals with mood disorders such as major depression and bipolar disorders. Suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors are common among patients with bipolar disorders, and suicide rates are estimated to be more than 25 times higher for these patients than among the general population. An estimated five percent of patients with schizophrenia attempt or commit suicide.

The second most frequent risk factor for suicidal behaviors is alcohol and drug abuse. In 2008, alcohol was a factor in approximately one-third of suicides reported. Having both a mental health disorder and substance abuse disorder, otherwise known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder, has been found to increase suicide risk.

Pinnacle Behavioral Health practices a number of inventions that have been proven useful in helping individuals at risk for suicide. One practice is cognitive behavioral therapy that helps a patient explore the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Our goal is to help our patients uncover underlying issues that drive self-destructive thoughts or behaviors. Studies have shown that undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can effectively change an individual’s brain activity, therefore possibly preventing self-harm or suicide. 

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. MMWR. 2012;61(4):1-162.

Warning Signs of Teenage Suicide

Warning signs of suicide may not be the cause of suicide, but are markers that indicate a risk of suicide or suicidal behavior.

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Feelings of hopelessness or having no purpose in life
  • Feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or reckless
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

What To Do

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, do not leave the person alone and remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt. Next, call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800–273–TALK/8255. You may also take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

Source: www.reportingonsuicide.org

Help prevent teen suicide, know the warning signs

Call: 866-906-8336

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