Teenage suicide has been on the rise every year since 2007. According to the CDC, the occurrence of death by suicide in teens rose 60% between 2007 and 2018. Since then, social distancing and isolation due to the pandemic have added to the challenges that troubled teens have to face daily. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those 10 – 34 years of age.

Feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and depression can affect all of us from time to time, regardless of age. As our children grow up, it’s increasingly difficult to understand what’s on their minds and how they’re feeling. The reality is that teens today are dealing with crushing mental health concerns. Our job is to be there for them and help them navigate the intense pressures the world places on them. 

All parents want to understand how to help a teenager with suicidal thoughts, but when do the routine highs and lows of adolescence become something a parent needs to be concerned about?

Understanding how to help a teenager with suicidal thoughts can help avoid tragedy. Here, we’re reviewing how to spot early suicide warning signs in teenagers, along with some of the steps you can take to help your teen cope, heal, and become happy again. We’ll also be covering how teen therapy can help.

Most teens who are considering suicide will demonstrate predictable actions or behaviors. Some common tendencies or behavior associated with increased suicide risk factors include:

  • Repeated comments about dying, death, depression, or worthlessness
  • Sudden differences in occupational or academic performance
  • Decreased interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Withdrawal from socialization
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry

Knowing how to help a suicidal teenager means understanding and recognizing the teen suicide warning signs as early as possible. Helping a teen at or near the first signs of suicidal ideation is important. The sooner suicide prevention steps are followed, the sooner the healing can occur. 

“Teens can feel suicidal due to a combination of psychological and environmental factors.  Your teen might be at risk if they are dealing with things like bullying, getting in trouble at school, questioning their sexual orientation, experiencing physical or sexual abuse, or managing chaos and uncertainty at home.” 

Talkspace Therapist Liz Kelly, LCSW

Here are some more ways you can reach out to your teen and help them understand: it gets better. 

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