Suicide is one of the leading causes of preventable death in our nation today. We lose an average of more than 100 young people each week to this tragedy that can be prevented.
How can it be prevented you may ask? The Jason Foundation, Inc. believes that education is the key to prevention. The Jason Foundations programs and services are in response to this belief. Our nation should be familiar with the warning signs associated with suicide, suicide facts & statistics, and how to find help for at-risk youth. Together, we can save lives!
Remember: Never be reluctant to get
involved and always take any child/adolescents desire
or intent to harm themselves seriously. If you suspect a
young person of suicidal ideation, get them to professional
help immediately. Suicide is Preventable
If you or a friend need to talk with a
counselor for help or for resources available in your area,
call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
1-800-273-TALK (8255), or the Crisis Text Line 741741, free,
24-hour hotlines available to anyone in suicidal crisis or
emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest
crisis center to you.
Warning Signs of suicidal ideation include, but are not limited, to the following:
Along with these warning signs, there are certain Risk Factors that can elevate the possibility of suicidal ideation.
You may be the first and last person to see these signs in a young person.
Chances are, if you
do nothing, you will regret it for the rest of your
For college age youth (ages 18-22), suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death. *
Over-all, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for our youth ages 10-24. *
(*2015 CDC WISQARS)
In ages 10-14, we have seen an alarming increase of more than 150% in suicides since 1981 , making it the third leading cause of death for that age group.
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.
The Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance
System (YRBS) is a survey, conducted by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, that includes national,
state, and local school-based representative samples of 9th
through 12th grade students. The purpose is to monitor
priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the
leading causes of death, disability, and social problems
among youth in the United States. The surveys are conducted
every two years to determine the prevalence of these health
risk behaviors. Behaviors that contribute to unhealthy
lifestyles and those that indicate possible depression
and/or suicidal ideation are included. Click here to see the
Depression, Mental Illness and Substance Abuse
One of the most telling risk factors for youth is mental illness. Mental or addictive disorders are associated with 90% of suicides. One in ten youth suffer from mental illness serious enough to be impaired, yet fewer than 20 percent receive treatment. In fact, 60% of those who complete suicide suffer from depression. Alcohol and drug use, which clouds judgment, lowers inhibitions, and worsens depression, are associated with 50-67% of suicides.
Aggression and Fighting
Recent research has identified a connection between interpersonal violence and suicide. Suicide is associated with fighting for both males and females, across all ethnic groups, and for youth living in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
Within the home, a lack of cohesion, high levels of violence and conflict, a lack of parental support and alienation from and within the family.
Youth with high levels of exposure to community violence are at serious risk for self-destructive behavior. This can occur when a youth models his or her own behavior after what is experienced in the community. Additionally, more youth are growing up without making meaningful connections with adults, and therefore are not getting the guidance they need to help them cope with their daily lives.
Youth who are struggling with classes, perceive their teachers as not understanding them or caring about them, or have poor relationships with their peers have increased vulnerability.
Youth who have attempted suicide are at risk to do it again. In fact, they are eight times more likely than youth who have never attempted suicide to make another suicide attempt.
Changes in gender roles and expectations, issues of conformity and assimilation, and feelings of isolation and victimization can all increase the stress levels and vulnerability of individuals. Additionally, in some cultures (particularly Asian and Pacific cultures), suicide may be seen as a rational response to shame.
A history of mental illness and suicide among immediate family members place youth at greater risk for suicide. Exacerbating these circumstances are changes in family structure such as death, divorce, remarriage, moving to a new city, and financial instability.
Self-mutilation or self-harm behaviors include head banging, cutting, burning, biting, erasing, and digging at wounds. These behaviors are becoming increasingly common among youth, especially female youth. While self-injury typically signals the occurrence of broader problems, the reason for this behavior can vary from peer group pressure to severe emotional disturbance. Although help should be sought for any individual who is causing self-harm, an appropriate response is crucial. Because most self-mutilation behaviors are not suicide attempts, it is important to be cautious when reaching out to the youth and not to make assumptions.
Approximately 40% of youth suicides
are associated with an identifiable precipitating event,
such as the death of a loved one, loss of a valued
relationship, parental divorce, or sexual abuse. Typically,
these events coincide with other risk factors.
Consensus Derived List of Warning Signs for Youth
To address this gap in knowledge, a panel of national and international experts convened to resolve this problem and help the public better understand the way youth think, feel, and behave prior to making life-threatening suicide attempts and inform them about how to effectively respond. The main goal was to determine what changes immediately preceded suicide attempts or deaths that are supported by research and rooted in clinical practice by experts and for the first time we can now confidently put forward that these are the warning signs that a young person might be at risk of suicide.
The newly agreed upon list of warning signs and additional resources for how to respond to recognized risk was released today and can be found at: www.youthsuicidewarningsigns.org.
1.Talking about or making plans for suicide.
Prior to the meeting, the experts reviewed and analyzed all available literature and conducted a survey of youth suicide attempt survivors, as well as those who lost a youth to suicide. The panel was then convened and consisted of researchers with extensive experience working with suicidal youth, public health officials, clinicians with decades of individual experience helping suicidal youth, school teachers, and various other stakeholders including individuals representing national organizations focused on suicide prevention. Following the consensus meeting, focus groups with youth and adults were held to gain their input on the findings and dissemination plans. The following organizations were involved.
SOURCE SAVE - Suicide Awareness Voices of Education