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Young Adult Suicide: Signs and Prevention

As the Infographic below illustrates, suicide among 15-24 year olds has tripled since the 1950’s. It is indeed a growing epidemic. What can be done?

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, Here are the warning signs to watch for:

  • Suicidal threats in the form of direct and indirect statements.
  • Suicide notes and plans.
  • Prior suicidal behavior.
  • Making final arrangements (e.g., making funeral arrangements, writing a will, giving away prized possessions).
  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts and/or feelings.

If you suspect someone is suicidal, here’s what you can do:

  • Remain calm.
  • Ask the youth directly if he or she is thinking about suicide.
  • Focus on your concern for their wellbeing and avoid being accusatory.
  • Listen.
  • Reassure them that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
  • Do not judge.
  • Provide constant supervision. Do not leave the youth alone.
  • Remove means for self-harm.
  • Get help: Peers should not agree to keep the suicidal thoughts a secret and instead should tell an adult, such as a parent, teacher, or school psychologist. Parents should seek help from school or community mental health resources as soon as possible. School staff should take the student to the designated school mental health professional or administrator.

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