Suicide can have a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of many people. Friends, family, and acquaintances often have to pick up the pieces after someone takes their own lives. They often wonder if they could have done more to prevent this tragic outcome. Our kids are crying out for help, let’s protect our youth from suicide
Unfortunately, suicide rates are on the rise in the United States.
In 2018, suicide was the most common cause of death. Second-leading cause of death among those between the ages of 10 and 24. What’s more, a 2019 study found that 18.8 percent of high school students had Consider killing yourself at one point in their lives, 8.9 percent actually tried.
During the pandemic The suicide rate among adolescents has risenThis is despite female suicide attempts increasing by 50% and male suicide attempts ticking up by 4 percent.
Feelings of depression and helplessness also became more pervasive as the pandemic altered young people’s experiences at home, school, and in the community — which had a profoundly negative effect on their mental health.
In order to curb these trends and help the next generation, therapists, mental health professionals, parents, and other influential adults in the kid’s lives need to work together.
Continue reading to learn about the factors that lead youths to suicide, the signs that a young person might be considering suicide, and the suicide prevention strategies and techniques that you can use to assist clients and their families to reduce the likelihood that someone they love will attempt to end their lives.
What is the Reason Youth Consider Suicide?
While you likely are already familiar with the factors that can increase the likelihood a younger person decides to end their own life, here’s a brief refresher:
- Feelings of isolation
- Genetics (e.g. family history of suicide)
- Psychiatric disorders, such as depression or bipolar,
- Substance abuse
- Dealing with tragedy (e.g. death of a family member or friend; divorce)
- Sexual or physical abuse
- Breaking up with a romantic partner
- Being expelled or arrested from school
As a mental health professional or an adult, it’s important to look at these causes through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Children who were already struggling with isolation may feel even more isolated when they have access to remote learning. A young person who has a history of substance abuse might find themselves indulging in greater quantities while they are at home. It is possible that the abuse could have been worse if a parent was abusing a teenager and forced them to stay home.
Signs that a youngster might have considered suicide
Now that we’ve explored some of the biggest drivers of suicide, let’s turn our attention to some telltale signs that might indicate a young person is considering suicide.
Here are some signs that a young person might be thinking about suicide.
If someone expresses a desire to end their life, it is a sign of suicidal thinking. I wish I were still alive! Indirect statements such as: I hate my life so much!
Fixation on death
Youngsters who write essays or draw pictures about death and seem obsessed with it might be considering ending their lives.
A young person may be experiencing issues when they withdraw from social obligations, start doing worse at school, or stop investing in the activities they love. DepressionThis could lead to suicide.
Previous suicide attempts
While some people think that folks who survive a suicide attempt won’t risk it again, that’s simply not true. Research shows that this group is at the highest risk. Attempting to commit suicide again within a year of their attempt.
If you notice that a youngster is saying goodbye to friends, coworkers, and fellow students — and that they’re giving away their favorite possessions — it could indicate they’re planning to commit suicide.
Suicide Prevention Strategies & Techniques
Mental health professionals must share strategies and techniques to help parents, teachers, and other adults reach more youth and make a positive impact if we want to prevent suicide among our country’s youth. Here are three methods to achieve this.
- Be familiar with various therapy approaches
These are the details two different approaches to therapy that can help you effectively work with suicidal youths:
- Cognitive therapy for suicide prevention Therapy helps clients to develop coping strategies to successfully manage the various factors that lead to suicide.
- Dialectical behavior therapy This tactic focuses on separating the suicidal person from their thoughts. It allows them a detached view of their actions and ideas. Although suicidal thinking may not be possible to control, it is possible to learn how to respond to them from a healthier place.
- Other treatment options may be available
Therapy can be used to help young people overcome suicidal thoughts. You can also recommend healthy lifestyle changes.
- Eating a healthier diet
- Exercise more
- Meditation and mindfulness can be practiced
- Getting better sleep
- Stop using alcohol and other drugs
- Participate in webinars and conferences
Another way mental health professionals can work together to help protect youth from suicide is by putting our brainpower together to devise new strategies, learn what’s working, to influence better outcomes.
You should think about these things. Attending conferences on the subject, following blogs that cover Suicide and suicidal thoughtsContinually learning to stay on top of the latest trends and developments that affect our youth today.
On April 8, 2022, Dr. Craig Bryan, PsyD, ABPP, is hosting a two-hour webinar where he’ll explore core assumptions about suicide prevention and offer alternative perspectives.
Register for the webinar and learn more about:
- The relationship between mental illness and suicidal behaviour
- There are many possible routes to suicide
- The key limitations of common suicide risk screening methods
- The prevention by design framework
- Empirically-supported strategies to construct a robust suicide prevention plan
Register to attend the webinar for more information and to register. Check this out.
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