Suicide is a major public health concern.
Over 47,000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2017; it is the 10th leading cause of death overall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10–24. Although these numbers may make suicide seem common, it is still a rare event. Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are more common than suicide deaths and are signs of extreme distress. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not harmless bids for attention and should not be ignored. Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives.
Teens and suicide: What parents should know (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) As a parent, you can approach suicide prevention in the same way you do other safety or health issues for your children. By educating yourself, you can learn what puts kids at greatest risk for suicide – and what protects them most strongly.
Prevention Information for Parents (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide) One of the more difficult challenges of parenting is realizing that you don’t always know what your children are thinking and feeling. You may be aware that suicide is a leading cause of death in adolescence, but you can’t imagine your child might become one of those statistics. When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about? How can you know if suicide is a risk for your family? And if you are worried about it, what can you do?
Having a Conversation about Suicide with your Child (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide) Suicide is a realrisk for our youth, it remains the second leading cause of death for youth age 10-24 in the United States. It is very important for you to know that suicide isn’t about bad parenting! One of the most simple and accurate definitions of suicide states that it is an alternative solution to a problem of intense emotional distress by someone whose problem-solving skills are impaired. There may be many reasons for the impairment, and being compromised mentally or emotionally is usually at the top of the list. Possibly more helpful to you right now than understanding the causes of suicide is outlining steps that may help you recognize if your child may be at risk - and what you can do about it.
7 Ways to Improve Resiliency and Reduce Suicide Risk (Nationwide Children's Hospital) When a child experiences suicidal thoughts or mental health concerns, it can be worrisome and scary. You may find yourself asking, what can I do to help? The good news is that there are ways for you to support your child and help them learn to navigate an emotional crisis.