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Suicide in America-Teen Suicide



It can be hard to remember how it felt to be a teen, caught in that gray area between childhood and adulthood. Sure, it is a time of tremendous possibility but it can also be a period of great confusion and anxiety. There's pressure to fit in socially, to perform academically, and to act responsibly. There's the awakening of sexual feelings, a growing self-identity, and expectations set by others.

A teen with an adequate support network of friends, family, religious affiliations, peer groups, or extracurricular activities may have an outlet to deal with everyday frustrations. But many teens don't believe they have that and feel disconnected and isolated from family and friends. These teens are at risk for suicide.

When a teen commits suicide, everyone is affected. Family members, friends, teammates, neighbors, and sometimes even those who didn't know the teen well might experience feelings of grief, confusion, guilt ....and the sense that if only they had done something differently, the suicide could have been prevented. So it's important to understand the forces that can lead teens to suicide and to know how to help.

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 tremendously during adolescence. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 14-24 year olds, according to the Center for Disease Control and only surpassed by accidents and homicide.

How can you help a teen? If you suspect one might be considering suicide, encourage the person to talk about his or her feelings. Listen carefully and ask questions. Let the person know that you take his or her feelings seriously and want to help. Don't challenge or argue with the person. Suggest positive actions and solutions. For example:

  • keep busy and balance both work and recreation in his or her daily schedule
  • get away for awhile as it may help the person gain a new outlook
  • reduce stress by learning relaxation methods or enjoying a new hobby
  • exercise works wonders for stress
  • encourage the person to seek professional help


For more information on suicide prevention log onto our website at www.mentalhealthamericajc.net


Contact Us

Laura Stahl
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176
E-mail: mhajc@cabjackson.org