Why should I speak up if I hear someone talk about suicide?
Because about 75% of people who commit suicide show warning signs, and many individuals who want to commit suicide will accept help if it is offered. Often people who are suicidal have a tough time seeing reasons not to do it, but when they are offered help they often accept it. Some warning signs include talking about suicide, or past suicide attempts, and so these should be taken very seriously.
One of the hardest things you might experience is hearing a family member or friend talk about taking their own life, and one of the best ways to feel better about that situation is talk to an adult about it. That way you don't have to deal with everything on your own, and we know there are people who would love to help you.
Together we can prevent our loved ones from ending their lives simply by telling someone who can help, like a teacher, counselor, or parent.
What are some things that increase the risk of suicide?
- Past suicide attempt(s) or hurting oneself
- Talking about committing suicide
- Conflict or a lack of support from friends/family
- Mental health struggles
- Trouble with the law
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Failing in school
- Access to weapons
What are some things that protect individuals from suicide?
- Strong connections to family and the community
- Support from friends and peers
- Feeling supported by your school, teachers, and faculty
- Skills in problem-solving and knowing how to deal with conflict
- Medical and mental health support
- Being able to ask for help when needed
Facts about suicide:
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among individuals 15-24 years old, and the 4th leading cause of death among individuals 5-14 years old.
- About 7% of students in grades 9-12 (1 of every 14) report making a suicide attempt in the past year.
- Teenage girls report twice as many attempts as boys, though boys complete suicide more frequently than girls.
Facts about mental health:
- Mental health includes thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
- Mental health issues can harm how people interact with others, how they think and feel, and how they behave.
- Mental health problems can lead to missing school, not doing assignments, and not being able to focus in class.
- Mental health struggles can include things like depression, anxiety, and alcohol/drug use.
- About 1 in 5 children and teenagers experience such struggles.