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Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24. (2013 CDC)

Teenagers are well known for being moody and dramatic. So how do you know if your teenager is actually suicidal? Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.(CDC)  Here are some key things to look for, especially in teens who are suffering from depression or that you suspect may be depressed.

  • Talking or joking about committing suicide
  • Saying things like, “I’d be better off dead,” “I wish I could disappear forever,” or “There’s no way out.”
  • Speaking positively about death or romanticizing dying (“If I died, people might love me more”)
  • Writing stories and poems about death, dying, or suicide
  • Engaging in reckless behavior or having a lot of accidents resulting in injury
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family as if for the last time
  • Seeking out weapons, pills, or other ways to kill themselves 

Take ALL suicidal threats seriously. Sometimes parents may think that  teens threaten suicide to manipulate a situation. However, you can never be 100% certain that this is the case and the cost of being wrong is too great to risk. Teens may act on suicide threats to prove their parents wrong or gain attention and end up accidentally taking their lives. Teenagers do not accurately estimate the lethality of methods of self-harm.. Never assume that they aren't serious!






If any of these things happen over a period of time, you find that they are doing several of these signs at once, or the behavior is out of character for your teen, have a conversation with your child. Get medical help, talk to school counselors, get counseling. NEVER ignore these signs or hope they will go away on there own. If your child is in immediate danger, call 911 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.

 Talk to your children about depression, mental health and suicide. Many parents are afraid that if they talk about it, it will lead to their child to think about suicide. This is a not true! Research suggests just the opposite — talking about tough subjects actually decreases suicidal thinking.

So what do you do if you think your teenager is suicidal? Click here for some steps to take.