Teen Suicide and School

teen suicide
Chart taken from usnews.com. Click to enlarge.

With teen Suicide rates skyrocketing parents and educators are left searching for answers.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 12-18 and college age youth according to a report by the CDC.  With the mounting pressures of school and a system that too often emphasizes performance goals, students struggle with depression and anxiety more than ever.  The stigma of mental health has always provided a hurdle for communication and understanding of these very harsh and scary realities.  Here is what you need to know:

Previous suicide attempts or self-harm, including self-mutilation and heavy drug or alcohol abuse are clear warning signs of depression and suicide.  Students who know another student who has committed suicide are at higher risk these are known as cluster suicides.

Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities, distancing from family and friends, reduced hygiene and declining grades or school performance can be subconscious cries for help.

Obsession with death or suicide through artwork or written expression is a clear indicator of a child who needs help.Beware of cryptic goodbyes, and the relinquishing of personal previously important possessions.

The loss of a loved one, the divorce of parents, can leave students feeling alone and abandoned. Also, feelings of shame, guilt, rejection, and despair can cause students to de-value their own existence.

These are startling facts but hope is not lost, here are some things we can do to help the problem before it continues to grow.

Ignorance about mental health issues is archaic and infantile please help our communities understand that these real and pressing issues should be addressed and not stigmatized.

Of course, if you believe someone may have suicidal ideations, seek immediate help from medical professionals. If you believe your child may need extra supports in school to address their mental health issues you may want to seek the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable in school related issues.

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