A family member suicide risk may be high if they are a teenager. Suicide touches many teens and their families, both directly and indirectly. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens, meaning you may lose your teen directly or your teen may lose a friend through suicide.
Family Member Suicide Risk: Teens
When suicide, teens and family intersect guilt, grief and questions always emerge. Survivors of suicide, other teens and family members, ask themselves ‘what did I miss?’ We wonder how we didn’t see the pain in our loved one’s life, didn’t realize how badly this person was hurting. Parents of teens who commit suicide struggle with guilt, feeling responsible for their teens death. Many question how they could have saved their teenager.
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Friends and family of teens who attempt suicide, successfully or not, wonder what they might have done to prevent suicide. Often the answer is not much, especially if that teen was already working with a professional or hiding their emotional struggle. Suicide is a way to end unbearable psychological pain – not a death wish.
Learn your family member suicide risk:
Fortunately, there are a few questions that we can ask if we know someone is hurting, and we wonder if they are in danger of attempting suicide. These questions are particularly good for professionals who see teens, like teachers, coaches, counselors, doctors, etc. Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health have established these 4 questions will reliably show if someone is at risk:
1. In the past few weeks, have you felt that you or your family would be better off if you were dead?
2. In the past few weeks, have you wished you were dead?
3. In the past week, have you been having thoughts about killing yourself?
4. Have you ever tried to kill yourself?
If your teen answers yes to all four of these questions, they are 97% likely to attempt suicide. Get help immediately. If your teen answers yes to 1 and 2 only, then depression is probably going on. Seek professional help.
Crisis Centers in Indianapolis:
St. Vincent’s Stress Center of Indianapolis: (317) 338-4800
Community Hospital Crisis Services: 800-662-3445 or 317-621-5700