Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teenagers. According to Lanny Berman, PhD, 90% of the suicidal teenagers have undiagnosed mental disorders. Depression is the most common, but there are life factors that put teens at risk. For teens at risk, there seems to be no hope. However, Dr. Berman consuls that suicide is preventable.
The first step is recognizing the signs in yourself or someone you know. The most common signs include new or heightened difficulties having relationships with friends, family, and others; feelings of isolation, or feeling unloved by others; feeling that there is no solution to the problems you face; reacting impulsively or aggressively when faced with a problem; sudden or worsening alcohol and/or drug abuse; feelings of severe depression and persistent pessimism; and suicidal thoughts.
If you notice a friend or family member experiencing any of the listed behaviors, first offer a listening ear and support. Continue to support the person and assist him or her in getting help from an experienced person trained to help. Talk to a trusted adult and get the friend to see a mental health professional who is experienced working with teens.Although it may seem like a betrayal, do not keep this a secret. Comfort your friend and stay with him or her until you find competent help.
There are a number of organizations that help teens who are feeling suicidal, and provide support and help for parents. If you or your teen is feeling hopeless, like there is no other solution, please call 911. If you want to remain more anonymous, call 1-800-273-TALK, this is the National Suicide Hotline. The line is open 24 hours a day, and will route you to the nearest suicide prevention office.
Missouri support groups and help centers are listed here at suicide.org. You will find locations in Cape Girardeau Mo, Springfield, Mo, Independence Mo, and 3 locations in St Louis, Mo. Calling the National Suicide Hotline will put you in touch with your nearest local help group.
However, suicide.org is a nationwide organization dedicate to suicide prevention. There is information for veterans, statistics and information on youth suicide, help for gay and lesbian youth, and a list of help lines. The site offers information on school suicide prevention programs, how to talk to a suicidal person, and more.
Suicide is a serious issue. If you know someone who speaks often of death, feels hopeless, or abandon, listen to him or her. If they begin to put their affairs in order, begin giving away possessions, or seriously consider suicide, call the hotline on their behalf. No one will judge or condemn you for reaching out. There are friends and people who can help you with these feelings.