Suicide Prevention - Adolescents

Depressed Teen




Adolescent suicide is a very difficult event to understand or discuss. Although depression is often found in those who consider and attempt suicide, many times those considering suicide do not express the typical sadness or other severe depressive symptoms. They may, however, express loneliness, isolation, feeling overwhelmed and out of control, perhaps a sense of desperation, helplessness and hopelessness—
like things will never get better, that they can no longer cope with their problems and see suicide as the way out.

If you think your adolescent child may be suicidal, know that asking him or her questions will not put the idea in their head, but could possibly prevent that from happening. Consider asking questions like:


  • Have you been thinking about suicide/hurting yourself?
  • Have you ever done anything to purposely hurt yourself?
  • How would you do it? Do you have a plan?
  • Do you really want to be dead? What does death mean to you?
  • What has kept you from doing it?

Your expressed concerns can have a powerful impact on your child. Tell your child how important they are to you and that you don t want them to do that.

If you have noticed significant changes in their attitude, mood and behavior and concerned that your child is considering suicide or if they have made comments, threats or gestures, always take the signs seriously, act immediately and get support. Remember, you are not alone. Social support helps prevent suicide attempts. Mental Health Professionals are available to discuss your concerns and offer recommendations to help you and your child.

For support, please call the Alegent Health Helpline at 402-717-HOPE (402-717-4673).