National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Through honest conversation and by providing kids who need it with help, we can prevent suicides and save lives. Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.

Know the Facts:

  • 44,965 people die by suicide each year (AFSP)
  • Based on the 2015 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 8.6 percent of youth in grades 9-12 reported that they had made at least one suicide attempt in the past 12 months (AFSP)
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for young people aged 5-25 (AACAP)
  • Every 2 hours and 11 minutes, a young person under the age of 25 contemplates suicide (Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas)

Risk Factors

  • A recent or serious loss
  • A mental health disorder, particularly a mood disorder such as depression
  • Prior suicide attempts
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Stigma associated with asking for help

Learn more about risk factors here.

 

Protective Factors

  • Strong connections with family, friends and community
  • Good problem-solving abilities
  • Access to appropriate clinical intervention

Learn more about protective factors here.

 

Warning Signs

  • Talking about suicide
  • Making statements about feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless
  • A deepening depression
  • Preoccupation with death
  • Taking unnecessary risks or exhibiting self-destructive behavior

Learn more about warning signs here.

What to Do if You’re Worried

  • Tell your child how important he or she is to you
  • Validate your child’s feelings and express empathy
  • Don’t be afraid to talk openly about your concern

Read a more detailed guide to helping children in distress here.

 

Crisis Resources

 

Treatment

Mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder may increase the risk of suicide. Early diagnosis and intervention are essential. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness, as well as medication. Learn more about treatment here.

Get information about the Mood Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute or request an appointment here.

 

Helpful Resources

 

Partners

  • National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
  • To Write Love on Her Arms
  • Mental Health America
  • SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)
  • Active Minds
  • Flawless Foundation
  • International Bipolar Foundation
  • NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • Crisis Text Line
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • JED Foundation
  • DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance)
  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America)