Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention in Teens/Young Adults
Sep 06, 2019
In 2019, suicide rates in teens and young adults have reached its highest rate in over two decades. Although there is no single cause, depression is the most common condition associated with suicide. Studies show that conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance problems, especially when unaddressed, increase risk for suicide.
What are the warning signs of someone who is contemplating suicide or self-harm?
Changes in behavior, or entirely new behaviors, are warning signs of someone contemplating self-harm. Some examples of changes of behavior include increased use of alcohol or drugs, looking for ways to end their lives via online search, withdrawing from activities, isolating from family and friends, and sleeping more often.
Frequently, when someone is contemplating suicide, they will be withdrawn and unwilling to engage in much conversation. If you are able to speak with them take note of topics such as feeling hopeless, being a burden to others, or living with unbearable pain. Also be aware of mood changes including increased agitation or anger, loss of interest, irritability, and anxiety.
No one symptom or behavior will be key to knowing if someone is contemplating self-harm or suicide; knowing your child and the changes within them overall will be helpful insight.
What can you do to support your child?
Start by talking to your child about how they are feeling. Be sure to listen and do not judge. Discuss the possibility of meeting with someone outside of the family to discuss feelings, thoughts, and frustrations. FamilyMeans provides resources in 25 school buildings across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin to support the mental health of students. Additionally, we provide outpatient counseling in Stillwater, St. Paul, and Hudson. Therapeutic services can greatly help to ease anxiety, depression, and help your child to work through the challenges that they are facing. Start today. Visit FamilyMeans.org or call 651-439-4840.
In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, the Washington County Mobile Crisis Response at 651-777-5222, or Crisis text line: text “MN” to 741-741.
For more information on suicide prevention visit www.afsp.org .