Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, according to a 2012 Centers for Disease Control report.
That translates into about 4,600 lives lost each year.
Forty-five percent of those youths used a firearm, another 40 percent died from suffocation and another 8 percent died from poisoning.
More telling however may be the number of youth who survive suicide attempts. Each year, about 157,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry lists the following as signs that a teen may try to kill themselves:
• A change in eating habits;
• Withdrawal from friends and family;
• Acts of violence or rebelliousness;
• Use of alcohol or drugs;
• Neglect of personal appearance;
• Change in personality;
• Decline in schoolwork
• Complaints about not feeling well (stomachaches, headaches, tired);
• Loss of interest in fun;
• Can not take praise
The Academy also recommends that parents take seriously any threat of suicide and seek help for a mental health professional.
24-Hour Hotlines and Resources:
• 1-888-SUICIDE (National Hopeline Network)
• 1-800-999-9999 (Covenant House Nineline)
• 1-800-448-4663 (National Youth Crisis Hotline)
• Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Resources: 513-636-4124
• Additional resources at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website www.afsp.org