Teen Depression and Suicide
Dealing With Suicidal Warnings and TeenagersIf someone tells you they are thinking about suicide, you should take their distress seriously, listen nonjudgmentally, and help them get to a professional for evaluation and treatment. People consider suicide when they are hopeless and unable to see alternative solutions to problems.
If someone is in imminent danger of harming himself or herself, do not leave the person alone. You may need to take emergency steps to get help, such as calling 911. When someone is in a suicidal crisis, it is important to limit access to firearms or other lethal means of committing suicide.
Finally, if you are thinking about suicide, get help immediately:
- Call your doctor's office
- Call 911 for emergency services
- Go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital
- Ask a family member or friend to take you to the hospital or call your doctor
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to be connected to a trained counselor at the suicide crisis center nearest you.
Most teenagers who are depressed do not commit suicide. But depression increases the risk of suicide or suicide attempts. It is not true that people who talk about suicide do not attempt it. Suicidal thoughts, remarks, or attempts are always serious. There are also other serious warning signs of suicide to look out for, such as:
- Having a history of previous suicidal behavior
- Hinting at not being around in the future
- Expressing a desire to die, as well as giving away prized possessions
- Having experienced a recent loss
- Making threats of suicide.
If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a friend, you must tell a responsible adult immediately. It's better to be safe than sorry.