Suicidal 13 year old

Teens and suicide: What parents should know

As a parent, you can approach suicide prevention in the same way you do other safety or health issues for your children. By educating yourself, you can learn what puts kids at greatest risk for suicide – and what protects them most strongly.

On this page

  • Should parents be concerned about teen suicide?
  • The facts
  • Additional resources
  • What can I do to protect my teen or tween from suicide risk?
  • How can I tell if my child is behaving like a normal teenager – i.e. moody, etc. – or if there might be something wrong?
  • How can I talk to my teen about mental health and suicide?
  • Should I use the same approach for different age groups, i.e. tweens (ages 8 to 12) or teens (13 to 17)?
  • What if they don’t want to talk?
  • What if I’m concerned my child is thinking about suicide?
  • What if my child knows someone who has taken their life? How do talk with them?

Sign up for email alerts

Receive updates from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Should parents be concerned about teen suicide?

Suicide is in the news and in popular entertainment now more than ever, especially in regard to teens. You can play a role in building up your child’s mental health simply by becoming aware of the risk factors and warning signs that can lead to suicide, making yourself available to your child, knowing how to practice having a caring conversation, and being aware that help is always available.

The facts

There were approximately 100,000 teen (15-19 year-olds) suicide deaths over the 40 year period between 1975 through 2015, the most recent year covered by the study.

Boys take their lives at 3-4 times the rate of girls. The suicide rate for teen boys saw a rise that peaked in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, then lowered in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s. This may be attributed to pediatricians increasingly taking on the role of treating depression. However, the rate has unfortunately been rising again since 2006.

The suicide rate for teen girls had a similar but less dramatic pattern. There has been an increase for girls over the last 10-12 years.

It’s worth noting there are fluctuations in suicide rates of all age groups over time. Youth rates remain significantly lower compared to every older age group.

Learn more about suicide

Additional resources

    Risk factors and warning signs

    While there is no single cause for suicide, there are risk factors and warning signs which may increase likelihood of an attempt. Learn what to look out for to keep your child or children safe.

    Learn more

    More Than Sad

    The More Than Sad program shows you how to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, initiate a conversation about mental health with your child, and get help.

    Learn more

    Find a mental health professional

    Who is a mental health professional, and how can they help? Find mental health providers in your area.

    Learn more

    LGBTQ crisis and support resources

    LGBTQ crisis hotlines and support resources.

    Learn more

What can I do to protect my teen or tween from suicide risk?

As a parent, you can teach and model healthy habits for mental health just as you would with physical health. Taking care of your own mental health, talking about it openly, and seeking therapy when warranted is one way to model healthy practices.

If your child sees you approaching your own challenges and learning for your own mistakes in an open way, they will understand that it’s okay to struggle and to learn from mistakes. They may develop flexibility and compassion for their own missteps — possibly even empathy for others, seeing how you navigate challenging times. They will also understand that life is messy and challenging for everyone at different times.

Check in with your child regularly, beyond just day-to-day tasks such as homework. You can learn how to invite deeper conversations through further guidance listed on this page.

If your child has a history of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self-harm or substance use, you should monitor them more closely, and consider involving a professional, either at key times, or for the longer term for more chronic conditions.

How can I tell if my child is behaving like a normal teenager – i.e. moody, etc. – or if there might be something wrong?

When children hit puberty, there are changes in their body and brain that can and do lead to behavioral changes. But there is a normal range which can manifest as moodiness, irritability, and pushing you away. This is a natural part of adolescent development. What should be concerning is if you notice indications of hopelessness or worthlessness, a withdrawal from friends and activities, or suicidal thinking or behavior. These are not typical manifestations for teenage angst.

You know your child. You know their usual patterns, their common reactions to frustration and challenges, and what their good days and bad days look like. Trust your instincts if their behavior goes beyond these usual patterns of behavior. It could be just the tip of the iceberg of possible changes in their physical or mental health.  It’s worth engaging them in conversation to get a fuller understanding of what they are experiencing so you can provide support, and get a better sense of how severe it is.

If your teen or tween’s sleep, energy, appetite, motivation, substance use, and frustration aren’t bouncing back to normal after a few days, have them see their pediatrician or a mental health practitioner.

How can I talk to my teen about mental health and suicide?

Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your child about mental health and suicide. Ask your child how they’re doing, what’s happening in their world these days, and what their concerns are. It can start simply by asking, “Are you okay?”

Listen intently and without judgment. Ask open-ended questions, i.e. those that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Resist the urge to offer quick fixes or solutions to their challenges, which tends to shut down further dialog. Validate and support their feelings.

Follow their cues, and say things like, “Tell me more about that. I’d love to understand more about what that’s like for you. When he said that/did that to you, how did that make you feel?”

Should I use the same approach for different age groups, i.e. tweens (ages 8 to 12) or teens (13 to 17)?

The approach is very similar for tweens and teens, but with changes in language based on their level of sophistication and self-awareness. Use language that makes sense to your child, given their age, development, and what you know of how they think about things.

For a young child, you can ask about physical symptoms like stomach aches, and changes in feelings like getting upset or angry more lately. If it seems to you that they feel hopeless, trapped or overwhelmed – then ask if they ever think about hurting themselves or ending their life.

For older children, or kids who have demonstrated they are aware of their own thoughts and feelings, ask about their perceptions, as well as other symptoms like sleep problems, mood changes, and feelings of hopelessness, or of feeling trapped or overwhelmed.

What if they don’t want to talk?

If your child isn’t ready to talk, leave the invitation open for later by saying, “Whenever you want to talk, I’m here to listen and support you.” You could add “I won’t judge, and I’ll never stop supporting you, no matter what challenges you face.”

The likelihood is that your child will open up when you least expect it, sitting side-by-side rather than face-to-face, in the car or engaged in some other activity together.

When your teen starts to open up, be careful not to fall into the trap of jumping in with a solution or by saying, “You should…” or “Why didn’t you…”

What if I’m concerned my child is thinking about suicide?

If your child is talking about any level of distress, do not hesitate to ask them whether they’re feeling changes in their mood or level of stress, or having suicidal thoughts. Asking your child directly about suicide will not increase their risk, or plant the idea. It will create an opportunity to offer support, and let them know you care enough to have the conversation.

You can say, “It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot lately. Does it ever get so tough that you think about ending your life?”

If your child gives any indication they have been thinking about suicide (unless they are in the act of self-harming) take them seriously. Continue to listen and engage in a caring, concerned, supportive manner. You can say things like, “Can you say more about that? I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling this way. I want to understand more about your perspective. I’m here for you no matter what. There is no problem too big that we as a family can’t get through. I’m going to keep supporting you and will also make sure you get the help you need to feel yourself again.”

Talk with your child about how to seek help. If you fear they may be at risk, get professional help right away.

Let them know you’ll be there for them no matter what, that your love is unconditional, and that you’ll help them get the support they need to get through this challenging time.

In a crisis situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or text the Crisis Text Line by texting ‘TALK’ to 741741 to speak or text with a trained counselor who can provide guidance on the most appropriate next steps and resources. Calling 911 is best for situations when self-harm is occurring or is about to occur.

For help finding a Mental Health Professional, consult with your child’s pediatrician, call your insurance, or use this treatment finder.

What if my child knows someone who has taken their life? How do talk with them?

It is important as a parent to be there for your child if a friend or a classmate has died by suicide. You can find specific guidance in AFSP’s Children, Teens, and Suicide Loss booklet, written in partnership with the Dougy Center, The National Center for Grieving Children & Families.

The booklet can be viewed online here.

Connection makes a difference

Find a chapter

12 Things Parents Can Do to Help Prevent Suicide

As children grow into pre-teens and teenagers, it becomes more challenging for parents to know what they are thinking and feeling. When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about?

Parents and family members can help pre-teens and teens cope when life feels too difficult to bear. Learn about the factors that can increase your child's risks for suicide and explore the 12 suggestions below. These steps can help you feel better prepared to offer the caring, non-judgmental support your child needs.

1. If you see signs that your child's mental health is under threat, tune in.

Maybe your child is just having a bad day, but when signs of mental health troubles last for weeks, don't assume it's just a passing mood. Studies show that 9 of 10 teens who took their own lives were struggling with mental health conditions such as anxiety. But keep in mind:

  • Teens who haven't been diagnosed with any mental health condition may still be at risk. In part, this is because it can be hard to pinpoint mental health issues at early ages.

  • Many teens who attempt suicide do not have underlying mental health issues, but in most cases, they will give signs that they're considering ending their own lives.

Your goal should be to remain calm, alert and ready to speak with your teen. Don't wait for them to come to you. You might start by saying, "You seem sad. I'm open to talking about this, because I love you and I care what happens to you. " Here are more tips for opening mental health conversations with your child.

2. Listen—even when your child is not talking.

Don't be surprised if your teen turns away when you first raise the subject of mental health or suicide. Keep in mind that, even if your child is silent at first, actions may speak even more loudly than words.

Watch for major changes in your child's sleep patterns, appetite, and social activities. Self-isolation, especially for kids who usually enjoy hanging out with friends or playing sports, can signal serious difficulties. If your child is struggling more than usual with schoolwork, chores and other responsibilities, these are additional signs you shouldn't ignore.

3. Realize that your child might be facing suicide risks you haven't considered yet.

Many parents wonder: Could this really happen to my child? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Young people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, income levels, and community backgrounds die by suicide every year. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people 10 to 24 years old.

Here are some things that can cause young people to think about ending their lives:

  • Loss of a loved one to death, divorce, deployment, deportation or incarceration

  • Bullying (in person or online)

  • Discrimination, rejection or hostility due to gender identity or sexual orientation

  • Racism, discrimination and related inequities and stressors

  • Family history of suicide or mental health difficulties

  • Stigma (the belief that it's wrong or shameful to talk about mental health or suicide)

  • Easy access to firearms or other life-threatening tools and substances

  • Witnessing or suffering violence or domestic abuse

  • Financial instability that causes worry and insecurity

  • Suicide in their school or friend group

Get more perspective on your child's specific risks here.

4. Try not to dismiss what you're seeing as "teenage drama."

Never assume your child is exaggerating or playing games if they say or write:

  • "I want to die."

  • "I don't care anymore."

  • "Nothing matters."

  • "I wonder how many people would come to my funeral?"

  • "Sometimes I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up."

  • "Everyone would be better off without me."

  • "You won't have to worry about me much longer."

Many kids who attempt suicide will tell their parents ahead of time (though others do not). These words indicate an urgent need for help.

Don't risk being wrong about this. Take every statement about suicide seriously.

5. Respond with empathy and understanding.

When your child talks or writes about suicide, you may feel shocked, hurt, or angry. You may even want to deny what you're seeing or argue with your child. These feelings are natural and valid, but it's essential to focus on your child's needs first and foremost. Your goal is to create a safe space where your teen can trust you to listen and express concern, but without judgment or blame.

Instead of reacting this way:

  • "That's a ridiculous thing to say."

  • "You have a great life – why would you end it?"

  • "You don't mean that."

  • "I can't believe what I'm hearing!"

Manage your own feelings so you can respond with empathy:

  • "It sounds like you're in tremendous pain and you can't see a way out."

  • "Maybe you're wondering how life got this complicated and difficult."

  • "Right now, you're not sure of the answers to the problems you're facing. "

  • "You must really, really be hurting inside to consider ending your life."

6. Get professional help right away.

If your teen is self-harming, or you sense they're at risk for attempting suicide, take them to the emergency department of your local hospital. Fast action is crucial when things have reached a crisis point.

If you see signs of suicidal thoughts but don't sense an immediate crisis, you still need to take action. Reach out to your pediatrician or local mental health providers who treat children and teens. Explain what you're seeing and hearing and schedule a mental health evaluation.

Health care providers can help you and your teen create a safety plan that covers:

  • Warning signs or triggers your teen feels will lead to suicidal thoughts

  • Possible steps to help them cope when they feel triggered

  • Sources of support: family, friends, teachers, mentors and others

  • Emergency contacts and steps to take if things get worse


Remove or secure guns you have at home. Do the same with other lethal tools and substances.

Half of youth suicides occur with firearms—and suicide attempts with firearms are almost always fatal. By far, the safest option is to remove guns and ammunition from your home while your teen is struggling with thoughts of suicide. Many families turn guns over to relatives or other trusted individuals to help safeguard their teen during a vulnerable time.

Safe home storage is the second-best option. Locking and unloading all guns, with ammunition stored and locked in a separate space, does reduce the risk of tragedy – but only if your teen doesn't know the combination to the lock or where the key is hidden. Disassembling guns and storing the components separately and locked is another option.

Of course, guns are not the only means of suicide your child might seek out. Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs can pose hazards during a suicidal crisis. Families should keep medications locked away and, whenever possible, reduce the volume of medications on hand. Also consider buying over-the-counter medications in blister packs instead of bottles, to slow down access to pills.

Other potentially lethal tools and substances you should consider locking away include:

  • Alcohol

  • Illicit drugs

  • Household cleaners and other poisonous products

  • Canned dusting products

  • Inhalants

  • Antifreeze

  • Knives, razors, or other weapons

  • Ropes, belts, or plastic bags

The work of removing or locking up these objects and substances may seem daunting, but your child's safety is at stake. Suicide attempts are often impulsive, and a moment of crisis can escalate very quickly. Making sure your teen cannot lay hands on lethal means at the wrong time is critical.

8. As your child enters treatment, focus on creating hope.

Your child's care team will likely recommend a combination of steps to reduce mental health symptoms and thoughts of suicide. Medications, talk therapy, and stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation or journaling may be part of the plan.

Provide realistic reassurance for your child along the way. Remind them (and yourself) that difficult times don't last forever. People do feel better when they receive effective treatment and support.

If your child expresses feelings of stigma or shame, you can remind them that 1 in 5 people have mental health symptoms at some point in their lives. Mental health is part of total health—and seeking help is a sign of self-respect and maturity.

9. Encourage them to see family and friends.

Your child may feel reluctant to spend time with other people, but you can explain that social support will help them feel better. Though more quiet time might be needed at first, gentle encouragement to hang out with family, friends and neighbors will be helpful. Avoid power struggles around specific events or invitations, since your goal is to respect your child's needs and minimize stress.

10. Suggest exercise.

Physical activity eases mental health symptoms and supports your child's wellness plan. Whether it's getting outside to take a daily walk, a gym workout, an online exercise class or something else, exercise will:

  • Elevate your teen's mood by stimulating the production of endorphins (natural substances in the brain and body that help balance out stress and manage pain).

  • Support higher levels of serotonin, another brain-body substance that leads to positive moods and restful sleep.

Experts recommend working out 30 to 40 minutes between 2 and 5 times per week. Any form of exercise is fine. What matters most is that your teen enjoys this activity and feels motivated to do it regularly.

11. Encourage balance and moderation.

Teens in crisis need to go easy on themselves. This means adopting a realistic pace and avoiding experiences that could prove overwhelming.

Reassure your teen that self-care is never a sign of weakness. Everything we do in life is affected by our health, so giving ourselves time to heal is essential. Big tasks can be divided into smaller, more manageable ones, and gradually, as your child's confidence and strength grows, they'll feel ready to take on more.

12. Remind each other that this will take time.

You and your child will benefit from knowing that progress will come at its own pace. Setbacks may happen—they're part of the healing process, too. Encourage your child to be patient and self-forgiving. They've been through a lot, but with the right care and support, you will both see improvement.


If your child is considering suicide, call or text 988 or chat on right away. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

Ask your teen's care team for other resources you should know about. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has great information.

Parents of LGBTQ2S+ children can visit the Trevor Project website for focused resources. Parents and teens facing racial stress can benefit from these strategies and tools offered by the American Psychological Association.

You can also visit the American Academy of Pediatrics Blueprint for Youth Suicide Prevention for information about ways to prevent suicide in your community or school.

More information

  • Teen Suicide Risk: What Parents Should Know
  • How to Talk About Mental Health With Your Child And Their Pediatrician
  • Mental Health & COVID-19: Signs Your Child May Need More Support
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

A 13-year-old schoolgirl from Omsk played with the lives of teenagers for the sake of popularity

After information about several "groups of death" in one of the social networks spread in the media, the Investigative Committee began to find out who pushes our children to commit suicide, so skillfully manipulating the emotionally unstable, teenagers drowning in a hormonal storm. Of course, it was assumed that the administrators of the "death groups" were adults copying teenage slang and manner of communication. Quite mature villains competently describe in detail the methods of suicide and skillfully use the entire arsenal of pressure on fragile souls.

However, one of them was identified just a few hours after the check was started in the Investigative Committee of the TFR in the Omsk Region. The result was shocking. As it turned out, Eva Reich, who is cursed by the mothers of dead children, who plunged into the correspondence of their daughters on VKontakte after the tragedy, is Alina, an eighth-grader. She is 13 years old. And no matter what this little girl writes on social networks - at least a hundred times "Sigani from a high-rise!" She won't get anything for it. Even if another little girl, after reading these filthy calls, really jumps and dies. Criminal liability for incitement to suicide comes from the age of 16, Alina has another three years for her "games".

At the same time, as adults notice, Alina is very smart. She has a well-delivered speech, and she thinks quite rationally. She is firmly convinced that a person can commit suicide only because of his own problems, and not because of correspondence in social networks, and a normal person will not lie down under the train, no matter what he reads.

You can't force anyone to commit suicide, the girl thinks, so she didn't do anything wrong. “Those who got drunk (to get drunk means in the jargon “kill yourself.” - Approx. ed.), their parents simply did not follow them, ”she says, easily and freely relinquishing moral responsibility. At the same time, she does not hide contempt for "suicidal" even from themselves. "What, all suicidal people are so stupid?" - this is a phrase from her correspondence in social networks. She does not feel sorry for them, she does not love them and does not sympathize with them. And all this crazy activity for her is just an opportunity to gain popularity with a grateful audience. In exchange for what to get likes - it doesn't matter.

20 cases per 100,000 people - that, according to the WHO, is the rate of suicide among Russian teenagers

Did Alina's parents follow her? As RG found out, they didn’t really try. Her mother is a typical "Kazakh woman in a headscarf", very far from virtual reality. Dad is always on watch. A computer at home. And it has a whole world where you can manipulate others with pleasure. Raise self-esteem. And to cherish a sense of superiority over fools who shed tears because of unhappy love and draw beautiful symbols of death: butterflies that live one day and whales that wash ashore.

Maybe Alina stood out in some way at school? No. An unremarkable student of the Omsk school N 97. The school's deputy director for educational work, Zhanai Abulkhanov, thanked RG for the signal: before the call from the correspondent, he could not even imagine that one of his students could persistently suggest that her interlocutors inhale some kind of chemical poison. “We didn’t have any such manifestations,” the head teacher said, recalling a girl with “black earrings”, well, except that one could pay attention to this gloomy paraphernalia. And he is not sure that it was Alina who had black earrings.

The teacher was confused (and one can understand him), but promised to "work out the signal", namely, to find out everything, to talk to the child and his parents, to involve the city's Psychological Support Center if necessary. Well, with other children, of course, to conduct educational activities. "Which ones?" I asked. “You see, we can’t talk directly with children about suicides,” Zhanai Abulkhanov answered. “We can only try to involve them in normal socially useful activities” ...

This silence is one of the biggest problems associated with child suicide. Adults do not discuss death with children either directly, because they are afraid of calling trouble, or indirectly, because they do not know how. And teenagers are drawn to this topic extremely - such an age. “In ancient times, it was not by chance that adolescents underwent an initiation rite - the transition to adulthood through difficult trials and symbolic death,” says child psychologist Olga Melnikova. We also haven’t learned how to manage this “love of death” strengthened in adolescence in any other way. back. At the same time, new technical possibilities - the Internet - make everything destructive even more destructive. "

We don't know how to control our spiritual movements, we don't understand what happens to teenagers. And we don’t want to notice scary symptoms - it’s more convenient for parents. “My friend is a psychologist,” says Olga Melnikova. “Once her daughter made friends on the Web with two anorexic girls who were killing themselves, and their parents did not pay attention to it. A friend called these parents, explained that their children were moving towards death. She was brushed aside, and after a while both girls died."

But how to talk to children about death in order to help, not harm? Olga Melnikova is sure that the topic of child suicides cannot be replicated in the media in any form, "anti-advertising is advertising." It seems that in order to give children some kind of tool against zombies, schools need to introduce serious lessons in psychological self-defense, and not like now, when psychology, if taught, is at the level of singing and drawing.


After media reports about "groups of death" corresponding complaints poured into Roskomnadzor. In St. Petersburg, a criminal case has been opened under the article on incitement to suicide - investigators are studying materials from social networks in relation to one of the specific cases of child suicide. Perhaps Omsk "Eva Reich" will also be interrogated in this case. There is evidence that she named the nicknames of other administrators of the "death groups", and they will be found in the near future. "Our task is to establish who "directed" the activities of a 13-year-old Omsk woman," RG was told in the Investigative Committee of the ICR for the Omsk Region.

Adolescent suicides - Adolesmed - Portal for professionals working in the field of adolescent health and medicine

Adolescence is characterized by various manifestations of suicidal activity - thoughts, intentions, statements, threats, attempts, attempts. From the 60s. 20th century suicidal behavior of adolescents has become a very urgent problem in developed countries. From the US, in many European countries, teen suicide ranks among the top five causes of death at this age.

Suicidal attempts

As a rule, before the age of 13, suicide attempts are rare. From the age of 14–15, suicidal activity increases sharply, reaching a maximum at 16–19 years. Suicidal behavior in adolescents is mainly a problem of "borderline psychiatry", i.e., the field of study of psychopathy and non-psychotic reactive states against the background of character accentuation. Many suicides and suicide attempts are manifestations of the so-called "teenage crisis".

Only very few have a true desire to commit suicide. In the vast majority of cases, suicidal behavior of a teenager is a “cry for help”. It is no coincidence that many attempts are made at home, moreover, in the daytime or in the evening - the cry for help is addressed, first of all, to those close to us. Decided to take such a step, as a rule, teenagers who are closed, vulnerable by nature from a feeling of loneliness, their own uselessness, stress and loss of the meaning of life.

Sometimes teenagers act out a suicide attempt without any intention of actually committing suicide, with the expectation that they will be rescued in time. All actions are taken in order to attract or regain lost attention, to pity, to arouse sympathy, to get rid of threatening troubles. But actions that are demonstrative in design due to negligence, incorrect calculation or other accidents can turn into fatal consequences. Suicidal attempts can be made at the height of passion, which can last only a minute, but sometimes, due to a tense situation, it can stretch for hours and days. At some point, the thought usually flashes here to part with life, or such an opportunity is allowed.

True suicidal behavior is distinguished by a deliberate, often gradually born intention to commit suicide. Behavior is built in such a way that a suicide attempt, according to the adolescent, is effective, so that suicidal actions are “not interfered with”. In the notes left, ideas of self-accusation usually sound, the notes are more addressed to oneself than to others, or are intended to get rid of the accusations of loved ones.

Most young people who plan to commit suicide have psychological problems such as depression or bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness), addiction to alcohol or drugs, or both. Socio-psychological factors play an important role in stimulating all types of suicidal behavior. Among them, family disorganization, the loss of parents, especially at the age of 12, and family breakdown due to divorce come to the fore.

What drives teenagers to commit suicide

The cause of suicidal thoughts and attempts can be "school problems", maladjustment in study and work, especially among boys, loss of contacts with comrades. "Sexual" problems are usually supplemented by other equally important factors of maladaptation. Breaking up with lovers leads to suicidal attempts if this breakup is combined with humiliation of self-esteem or if there was an extremely strong emotional attachment, found in teenagers from broken families or in emotionally labile teenagers who felt emotional rejection in the parental family. Shame due to revealed masturbation, discovered pregnancy, impotence, fear of becoming a homosexual (“homosexual panic”) can also push for a suicidal attempt.

Alcohol intoxication can serve as a "unleashing" factor for suicidal behavior. The experience and background of a teenager also increases the risk of suicide. For example, family history, previous self-harm, or leaving home. A teenager may resort to this in response to a stressful situation, loss, or conflict with another person.

Suicide prevention

Reducing the number of suicides among teenagers can be facilitated by preventive work aimed at early detection of problems in the family and environment of a teenager. The structures of healthcare, education, and social protection should be involved in preventive work.

As the experience of countries that have achieved notable success in reducing the level of teenage suicides shows, the system of preventive work should be built in two directions - general and private prevention, since suicide is understood as an individual act of a person, as well as a socio-psychological phenomenon. General prevention helps a person at the stage of development of a suicidal tendency, private - at the stage of a reversible phase of external suicidal behavior.

The multilevel nature of risk and protective factors determines the need for comprehensive suicide prevention, the inclusion of both the medical aspect and the cultural and educational aspect, and the resolution of a number of social problems. It has been established that no single risk factor can be a sufficient cause of suicide without a combination with other factors. It requires comprehensive support for a young person with a load of accumulated problems, and not the correction of only one symptom or problematic behavior.

The main emphasis in the prevention of suicide among adolescents should be placed on the prevention of crises in the family, the provision of timely social, psychological and other support to especially vulnerable adolescents and their families. Prevention of the use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances is also an important component of work to prevent suicide among adolescents.

Learn more