It is estimated that 42 percent
of female and 55 percent of male teens have at least once thought
seriously about suicide. More than 5,000
teenagers kill themselves each year. Suicide is one of the major
causes of death among 15-24 year olds. These are terrifying statistics
that needs to be understood and addressed by parents and educators
across our country.
Changes in behavior and teen depression
do not always indicate someone is suicidal, but if several of
the following signs persist over time, the teen needs help:
* Sleep, appetite and personality changes.
* Behavioral outbursts or bizarre behavior.
* Overwhelming sense of guilt or shame.
* Fatigue, physical complaints, hopelessness or despair.
* Obsessive fears, preoccupation with death.
* Giving away treasured belongings.
* Talking about suicide.
If someone you know appears suicidal,
always take it seriously, be reassuring, listen without lecturing,
ask him or her to seek help and tell someone who cares about the
teen. Whether you are a parent, a relative or a friend you can
make a difference by providing support and most importantly, by
providing a safe, non-judgmental haven of love and understanding.
Matters like these can eat away
at parents and loved ones. It is suggested that parents seek out
support groups for their own emotional outlet.
What are some of the warning signs that you need to be on the
* Depression is a major factor in suicide. Watch for symptoms
like eating and sleep disorders, mood changes, withdrawal - especially
withdrawal from friends - irritation, sudden changes in grades,
loss of interest in school or hobbies, substance abuse, inability
to concentrate, fatigue or loss of energy.
* Giving away treasured possessions
* Being preoccupied with death
* Making allusions or threats to suicide. These should always
be taken seriously.
Ask your teen what's troubling
them. Express concern and offer your unconditional love. Seek
professional help through school counselors or outside professional.
Most suicidal teens don't want to die. They want to live differently.
Heeding a cry for help can save your teen's life.
Teens & The Wrong
Drugs, Alcohol and