Suicide is a growing public health concern. It is the second leading cause of death for people 10 to 34 years of age and the fourth leading cause among people 35 to 54 years of age.1 Each day in Tennessee, an average of three people dies by suicide. As of 2017, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for young people, ages 10-19 in Tennessee, with one person in this age group lost to suicide every week.4 It is important to understand that a suicide attempt is different than suicide ideation. A suicide ideation is defined by someone who is thinking about or considers suicide.
Parents, it is important to trust your instincts. If you believe that your child or a loved one could be struggling with mental health issues or suicide ideation, act on that. It would be better to offer help than to ignore your instincts. You should never ignore threats or statements given by your children as dramatic or a phase. Many times, these statements can be a cry for help and should be taken seriously.
Studies have shown that children who are experience three or more of the following risk factors are at a higher risk for considering suicide2:
It is important to know about the things that may trigger or add additional stress to your child. Here are a few more tips to help support your children during a difficult time:
Supporting loved ones with who may be experiencing mental health issues can be tough. Remember to seek out professional help for additional resources and support. Please visit the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network here for more information. Call the statewide crisis line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 855-CRISIS-1 (1-855-274-7471) if you think your child is experiencing a mental health crisis.