The following list describes some potential risk factors for suicide among youth. If observed, a professional evaluation is strongly recommended. Many teenagers may display one or more of the problems or “signs” detailed below.
- Presence of a psychiatric disorder (e.g., depression, drug or alcohol, behavioral disorders, conduct disorder [e.g., runs away or has been incarcerated]).
- The expression/communication of thoughts of suicide, death, dying or the afterlife (in a context of sadness, boredom, hopelessness or negative feelings). Impulsive and aggressive behavior; frequent expressions of rage.
- Increasing use/abuse of alcohol or drugs.
- Exposure to another’s suicidal behavior.
- Recent severe stressor (e.g., difficulties in dealing with sexual orientation; unplanned pregnancy, significant loss, real or anticipated )
- Family instability; significant family conflict.
- Academic and social pressures.
- Feelings of failure or decreased performance.
- Family history of mental illness.
- Lack adequate coping skills.
- Difficulties adjusting to new demands and different work loads.
- The vast majority of young adults who are at risk for suicidal behaviors and depression often do not receive any treatment.
The vast majority of young adults who are at risk for suicidal behaviors and depression often do not receive any treatment.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)