Suicide rates amongst teens is up Nationally to approximately 33%. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after accidents and homicide. The holiday seems to be one of the times this puts people in general at more risk. Tragically, on Saturday (11/9/19) a young man (19 years old) from Detroit chose to take his life while away at Albion College.
The tragedy of a young person dying because of overwhelming hopelessness or frustration is devastating to family, friends, and community. Parents, siblings, classmates, coaches, and neighbors might be left wondering if they could have done something to prevent that young person from turning to suicide. The reasons behind a teen’s suicide or attempted suicide can be complex. Although suicide is relatively rare among children, the rate of suicides and suicide attempts increases greatly during adolescence.
Factors that increase the risk of suicide among teens include:
- A psychological disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol and drug use (in fact, about 95% of people who die by suicide have a psychological disorder at the time of death)
- Feelings of distress, irritability, or agitation
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that often accompany depression
- A previous suicide attempt
- A family history of depression or suicide
- Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
- Lack of a support network, poor relationships with parents or peers, and feelings of social isolation
- Dealing with gender identity in an unsupportive family or community, or hostile school environment