It is important to take the subject of suicide
seriously. While it may not seem right that a teen
would choose to die, adolescents who canít get
over their depression sometimes do kill
Boys commit suicide more often than girls, but no
one is immune. In one recent survey of high school
students, 60 percent said they had thought about
killing themselves. About 9 percent said they had
tried at least once.
Why has the youth suicide rate gone so high in
Itís easier to get the tools for suicideóboys
often use firearms to kill themselves while girls
usually use pills
The pressures of modern life are greater
Competition for good grades and college
admission is stiff
Thereís more violence in the newspapers and on
In addition, lack of parental interest may be a
problem. Growing up in a divorced household or a
home where both parents work may limit family
time. Young people reported that when they tried
to tell their parents about their feelings of
unhappiness or failure, their mother and father
denied or ignored their point of view.
If you suspect your teen is depressed or
thinking about suicide, do not remain silent.
Ask your teen about it. Donít be afraid to say the
word ďsuicide." Getting the word out in the open
may help your teen think someone has heard her cries for help.
or her that you love them. Remind him
that no matter how awful his problems seem, they
can be worked out and you are willing to help.
Ask her to talk about her feelings. Listen
carefully. Do not dismiss her problems or get
angry with her.
Remove all lethal weapons from your home,
including guns, pills, kitchen utensils, and
Seek professional help. Screening programs in
schools and as part of regular physicals are a
safe and effective way to uncover mental health
problems that may lead to suicide. Ask your teenís
primary health care provider to guide you in assessing
depression and suicide risk, and in finding
appropriate treatment programs.
This article is adapted from the American Academy
Some Things You Should Know About
Preventing Teen Suicide, where you will
find a list of signs that may suggest a teen is