Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24 years. Research shows that more than 95 percent of people who kill themselves have depression or another diagnosable mental or substance abuse disorder, often in combination with other mental disorders.
It's important to treat depression early so the child does not experience a mental health crisis. If a child has symptoms of depression, lasting almost every day for two weeks or more, he or she needs to be evaluated.
Some of the leading factors that increase the risk of suicide among children and teens are:
- Family history of depression or suicide
- Psychological disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder and/or alcohol and drug abuse disorder
- Previous suicidal attempt
- Access to a firearm
- Stressful life events or loss and a lack of support
- Lack of self- or family acceptance of child’s / adolescent’s sexual orientations