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  • Kara Kohnen

Teen Suicide Prevention

September is Suicide Prevention Month and the CDC states mental health problems in adolescents have nearly doubled in the last two years. This year, more than ever before, its important adults are aware of signs and symptoms. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 15-24. In the US, there are 3000 suicide attempts by high school students. 20% of teens had had suicidal thoughts and 9% have acted on those thoughts. Rates of suicide among black teens are twice as high as white teens. Among LGBTQ+ populations nearly half have had suicides thoughts and 18% have made a suicide attempt. Some of the contributing risk factors are a diagnosis of a mental health concern: depression or anxiety are the most common. Family history, substance abuse, exposure to violence or abuse, social isolation or bullying, losing a family member, financial or job loss, conflicts in relationship, starting or changing psychotropic medication, feeling stigmatized, lack of support. Many teens have suicidal thoughts but do no act on them. However, it’s important to break this cognitive pattern as teens can be impulsive so alleviating the thoughts helps to reduce the risk of self harm or a suicide attempt.

As back to school starts please be alert for the following warning signs:

Talking about or posting on social media about suicide

Feeling hopeless or trapped

Increase use of drugs or alcohol

Changes in weight, appearance or sleep

Father drugs, sharp objects, firearms or self harm objects

Isolating or withdrawing from friends

Searching online for methods to committing suicide

Visiting or calling people to say goodbye, giving away prized possessions

Trouble concentrating

Migraines, stomaches or other physical complaints

Risk-taking or self-destructive behaviors

If you see these and are concerned about safety:

Seek Mental health care by going to the ER or taking them to hospital, call a crisis line: 800-273-TALK, Don’t leave the person alone, Remove anything that could be harmful


Prevention:

Family and Community support

Ongoing mental heath care via counseling and medications

Build problem solving skills

Tools for Coping

Culture and religious support

There are many effective treatment approaches which we use at Grow Through Life Counseling to address the depression which causes teen suicide. This includes: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Attachment based theories approach, motivational interviewing (MI) and many others which develop copings skills and new more productive thought patterns. To get your teen started in care either in person in San Diego county or Murrieta, CA or via Telehealth in California, please call us today at 619-549-0329 ext 0 to get started. For more information: www.growthroughlifecounseling.com



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