Addressing Suicidality in Teens for National Suicide Awareness Month

Let’s make one thing clear: Mental illness is not a rarity. If anything, it’s pretty common, yet as a society we continue to ignore it and act as if it doesn’t cause serious problems in scores of the human population. September is National Suicide Awareness Month, which means it’s time to talk about suicidality in teens.

The rate of suicidality in teens was decreasing at one point, but recent studies have discovered that it’s increasing. Suicide remains the second leading cause of death for youth, ages 10 to 24; despite this, it’s seldom discussed with any true weight. This has to change.

Catching the signs of suicidality in teens

As parents, it’s our job to watch our children and make sure they’re healthy–this doesn’t just mean physically healthy, it also means mentally healthy. It’s critical to be aware of the signs of suicidality in teens in order to intervene. While showing signs does not necessarily mean your child is experiencing suicidal ideation, they should never be ignored.

From the American Psychological Association, some red flags to watch for in your teen include:

 

  • suicidality in teensChange in Personality: Have they suddenly become sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, or apathetic?
  • Change in Behavior: Do they have issues concentrating on work, school, or routine tasks?
  • Change in Sleep Patterns: Do they struggle with insomnia, oversleeping/under-sleeping, or nightmares?
  • Change in Eating Habits: Have you noticed a loss of appetite and weight or overeating?
  • Talking about Death or Dying: Have they mentioned dying, disappearing, jumping, or other types of self harm?

 

Any of these signs are cause for alarm. It’s important to talk to your child if you’ve noticed something’s off.

Be aware of the protective factors

Being aware of the protective factors for suicidality in teens can help you–the parent–protect your child against suicide. They help you teach your child how to keep their mental health in shape and veer away from unhealthy coping mechanisms that can lead to dangerous paths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, protective factors for suicide include:

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance use disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support; generally being connected with others
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling challenges

If you believe your child is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s important to reach out to a professional for further guidance. Hoping the problem will resolve itself often ends badly and can be avoided with the proper care.

Elevations is here for your family

Elevations RTC is a residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18. Our students often grapple with school year anxiety, trauma, depression, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral issues.

At Elevations, we use a combination of a focused therapeutic lens, real-world environment, secure setting, and caring staff to foster growth and success in our students. Finding the right program can be difficult for a family, which is why Elevations is here to help guide you through it.

For more information about how we address suicidality in teens at Elevations RTC, please call .

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