There are numerous suicidal risk factors to look for when parenting a troubled youth, at-risk teenager. With teen suicides on the rise due to an uptick in bullying at school and online, it’s now more important than ever to learn how to practice mindful parenting.  Even the most concerned and involved parents often miss the suicide warning signs.

Teenage boys struggling with behavioral and emotional problems are often at risk for suicide.  We often miss the signs or don’t recognize the suicidal risk factors.  Suicide among “troubled teenagers” is increasing and the warning signs are missed often.  It is easier to miss for parents who are  distracted or under stress due to their teenagers bad or risky behaviors.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Suicide among teenagers was the second leading cause of death, behind unintentional injuries, in 2015.  You only need to watch the news to see that teen suicide continues to increase.   A new study by Vanderbilt University reports that from 2008 – 2015 teenage suicide among  school-age children and adolescents has doubled.  More and more teenagers were hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.

Believe it or not, studies have revealed that teens are more commonly susceptible to suicidal tendencies than depressed adults. Shocking, right? This happens because teenage brains aren’t fully developed in order to healthily and responsibly handle stress, peer pressure, failure and rejection. Think your teenager might be at risk for suicide?

Here are some suicidal warning signs.  If these are familiar to you, please seek immediately help.

Alcohol and/or Substance Abuse in the Household

Suicidal teens typically turn to alcohol and drugs to numb themselves when faced with daunting or difficult life circumstances. If your son grew up in a home with an alcoholic or drug addict, the chances of suicide are even higher.

History of Mental Health Disorders 

Teens that come from families affected by mental health disorders and household turmoil have a greater chance of attempting suicide. This is because they are predisposed to picking up those same behaviors from close family members.

History of Sexual, Physical or Emotional Abuse

Teenagers who have experienced sexual, physical or emotional trauma have a high risk of attempting or committing suicide. This is because they still carry the pain with them despite making it seems like everything’s fine on the outside.

Signs that Your Teenager is Thinking About Suicide

If you notice your child is withdrawing or giving you verbal cues like talking about suicide or a new preoccupation with death.  These are all signals that your teenager is in trouble.  Please stop and take action, this USA Today video discusses the signs and risks of teenager suicide.

While some psychologists and psychiatrists may recommended antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals for suicidal teens. These can sometimes lead to addiction and dependency problems later in life. Therefore, the best way to help a suicidal teen is to get him or her the treatment he needs. After all, those under the age of 25 have shown to commit suicide at a higher rate than any other age group. Save your teen’s life. Reach out for help sooner rather than later.

Suicide Prevention Resources: 

Teen Lifeline, 602-248-8336 (TEEN) or 1-800-248-8336 (TEEN)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Resource Center (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

If after seeking professional help and talking with your child you are still concerned, consider a teen treatment center like a therapeutic boarding school or wilderness programWe invite you to explore our website to learn more or contact our admissions counselor to get more information or call us now.