Teens & Suicide

Teens today face more challenges and issues than ever. They can experience strong feelings of confusion, stress, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up. For some teenagers, transitions can be difficult, i.e. change of schools, loss of relationships, divorce, the formation of a new family with step-parents and siblings, moving to a new community or a death in the family. These can be upsetting and create or intensify self-doubts. Often, suicide may appear to be a solution to their problems and stress.

Suicide among youth is more common than you might think: it’s the third leading cause of deaths among 15-24 year olds and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-14 year olds.* It’s important for parents to pay attention to potential warning signs:

  • A change in sleeping and eating habits
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Change in personality
  • Frequent complaints and physical symptoms, like fatigue, headaches
  • Frequent complaints about being a bad person or feeling empty or rotten inside
  • Complaints about hallucinations or bizarre thoughts
  • Boredom, loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • A change in personal appearance and hygiene
  • Lack of belief in praise or rewards
  • Becomes suddenly cheerful after a long period of depression
  • Gives or throws away favorite belongings, gets all affairs “in order”
  • Makes statements about wanting to kill self
  • Obsession with stories or songs about suicide, or famous figures who have died or completed suicide.

North Range Behavioral Health hosts Suicide Education And Support Services, including the SAFE:Teen program. SAFE:Teen provides information about teen suicide risks, warning signs and available resources. If you are concerned about your child, call 970-347-2120 or the National Hot Line 1-800-273-TALK (8255).