As children move into their teen years, they are faced with challenges that can feel insurmountable. When they face other difficulties at the same time—divorce, abuse (physical or sexual), emotional neglect, exposure to domestic violence, alcoholism, substance abuse, BULLYING, or mental health problems such as anxiety or depression—they can feel overwhelmed.
Compound these challenges with a sense of isolation from peers, family, and the broader community, and with access to a means to end their lives, and it is not surprising that for some of these children, the permanent solution of suicide may seem to be an answer to their problems— problems that they do not realize are, more often than not, temporary.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers and young adults, following motor vehicle accidents. Girls generally attempt suicide more often than boys, but boys are about four times more likely to die from a suicide attempt. The same emotional states that make adults vulnerable to considering suicide also apply to youth.
Many suicidal teens may appear depressed or downcast, with low self-esteem and a habit of self-deprecation. Some students may hide their problems underneath a disguise of excess energy. For others, there is a sudden, uncharacteristic agitation and hyperactivity. This restlessness may take the form of confrontational or aggressive behaviour. Other signs include