Teen Suicide Risk Factors, Warning Signs, And What Parents Can Do


It’s terrifying to think about and devastating for parents when it happens, but teen suicide is also unnervingly common.

Suicide is the second-most common cause of death among adolescents age 15-19 in Canada, outnumbered only by accidents, according to Statistics Canada. Teens struggling with mental illness and addiction have the highest rates of suicide attempts in the country, noted a report by the World Health Organization last year. The child suicide rate in Canada is among the top five globally, the Canadian Press reported.

And a recent Toronto Star/Ryerson School of Journalism investigation found that more than 5,800 kids and teens died by suicide across Canada during the last 13 years.

Watch this message to teens considering suicide:

Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day. To mark the event, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) tweeted a link to their tips to identify and treat early signs of suicide in adolescents.

“Suicide is a leading and preventable cause of death among Canadian children,” CPS wrote in their practice points.

Suicide is the second most common cause of death among Canadian adolescents. Our practice point outlines ways in which paediatricians can identify and treat early signs of mental illness: https://t.co/ytRnfb0cIr#WorldMentalHealthDaypic.twitter.com/MQXvTfQvmu

— CdnPaediatricSociety (@CanPaedSociety) October 10, 2018

“Parents and/or guardians should be encouraged to allow open communication with the adolescent, particularly regarding negative feeling states and suicidal thoughts, and to ensure the home environment is safe.”

What are the risk factors?

CPS noted that mental illness, previous suicide attempts or deliberate self-harm, impulsivity, precipitating factors (such as a breakup, conflict with peers, bullying, or academic disappointment), family conflict, parental mental illness, and lack of a supportive environment are all risk factors.

“First Nations, Métis and Inuit adolescents are at particular risk of suicide, with four to five times greater rates of suicide in these populations compared with non-Aboriginal youth,” CPS said.

Watch how residential school’s legacy has taken a toll on Indigenous youth mental health:

Suicide rates in Inuit youth are among the highest in the world — 11 times the national average, according to Statistics Canada.

What are the warning signs?

There are suicide warning signs parents and guardians can watch for, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) notes on its website.

These include talking about suicide and asking what it would be like if they were no longer around, expressing …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel


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