Suicide - Young Lives at Risk

Facts About Suicide

  • Suicide is a leading cause of death for people under 25
    • Thousands of young people die by suicide every year
  • People who attempt suicide are not “crazy”
    • Anyone who feels unable to cope is at risk for suicide
  • Many people who talk about killing themselves do
    • It’s always a mistake to ignore a suicide threat
  • Suicide never solves anything

Why Do Some Young People Die By Suicide

  • Mental health problems
    • Depression
    • Problems with alcohol or other drugs
    • Bi-polar
    • Other mental health conditions
  • Personal Problems
    • A painful loss (death of a loved one, end of a romance or a divorce)
    • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse
    • Feelings of guilt, loneliness or “being different”
    • Worries about sexual identity
    • Pressure to get good grades
    • A sense of failure

Suicide And Depression

Signs of Depression

  • Sadness or irritability
  • Losing interest in usual activities
  • Trouble sleeping—or sleeping too much
  • Not wanting to eat – or eating too much
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Crying for no reason
  • Pulling away from friends

Depression can be treated. Talk to your health-care provider or the mental health counselor at Betty White.

Knowing the Warning Signs of Suicide

A Person May Be At Risk If He or She

  • Threatens to hurt or kill oneself or talking about wanting to hurt or kill oneself
  • Looking for ways to kill oneself by seeking access to firearms, available pills or other means
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Gives away personal things
  • Writes or draws pictures about death
  • Feeling rage or uncontrolled anger or seeking revenge
  • Feeling trapped—like there’s no way out
  • Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities—seemingly without thinking
  • Suddenly seems happy, after being down for a long time
  • Says things like “people would be better off without me.”
  • Seeing no reason for living or having no sense of purpose in life

Most people who die by suicide have tried at least once before.

Getting Help

In an emergency call 9-1-1 immediately.

Call A Hotline

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
  • National Hopeline Network at 1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-754-2433)
  • Girls and Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
  • Text STEVE to 741741 to speak with a counselor of color

Talk To Someone You Trust

  • Counselor or professor
  • Parent or the parent of a friend
  • Friend
  • Religious leader

If someone is talking about suicide, listen.

Try to:

  • Find out why the person is unhappy
  • Ask how serious he or she is about suicide
  • Show your care and concern
  • Get professional help. DON’T WAIT! Stay with the person until help arrives

Ways To Prevent Help Prevent Suicide

Work On Your Self-Esteem

  • Accept yourself—you don’t have to be like everyone else.
  • Spend time with people who like you for who you are.
  • Set goals you can reach and work toward them.
  • Know what’s important to you.

Learning Coping Skills

  • Know what’s causing your problems
  • Reach out to others—don’t keep bad feelings to yourself (think about joining a self-help group)
  • Take responsibility for your decision
  • Look for positive ways to solve problems