Depression is the #1 cause of suicidal behavior
Depression is number one cause of suicidal behavior and depression is highly treatable. If you know that a student had a history of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Other risk factors
There are a number of additional factors that can increase a teen’s suicide risk.
- Family history of suicide
- Family history of child maltreatment
- Previous suicide attempt(s)
- History of mental disorders, particularly clinical depression
- History of alcohol and substance abuse
- Cultural and religious beliefs (e.g., belief that suicide is noble resolution of a personal dilemma)
- Local epidemics of suicide
- Physical symptoms: eating disturbances, changes in sleep pattern, chronic headaches, stomach problems, menstrual irregularities
These protective factors can help reduce the impact of risk factors and build resiliency.
- Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
- Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
- Family and community support (connectedness)
- Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
- Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
- Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation
Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline
If a student is experiencing a mental health crisis or medical emergency, call toll-free at 800.273.8255. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
Not sure what to do or who to talk to? Refer to your school's suicide policy
HELPING YOUR STUDENT