Youth Depression and Suicide

Youth Depression and Suicide

The majority of suicidal children and adolescents have clinical depression. By recognizing and treating their depression, we can improve their chances of survival.

Know What To Watch For
In addition to the standard symptoms of depression and warning signs of suicide look for the following in children.

Verbal Clues – Saying things like:

  • I shouldn’t be here.
  • I’m going to run away.
  • I wish I were dead.
  • I’m going to kill myself.
  • I wish I could disappear forever.
  • If a person did this or that…..would he/she die?
  • The voices tell me to kill myself.
  • Maybe if I died, people would love me more.
  • I want to see what it feels like to die.

 Behavioural Clues – Doing things like:

  • Talking or joking about suicide.
  • Giving away possessions.
  • Preoccupation with death/violence; TV, movies, drawings, books, at play,
  • Risky behaviour; jumping from high places, running into traffic, self-cutting.
  • Having several accidents resulting in injury; “close calls” or “brushes with”
  • Obsession with guns and knives.
  • Previous suicidal thoughts or attempts.

If you think someone may be suicidal…
Ask questions about suicide like, “Do you ever… have thoughts of hurting yourself?

  • feel so badly that you have thoughts of dying?
  • wish you could run away or disappear?
  • wish you could go to sleep and not wake up?
  • have scary dreams about dying?

How to Help:
Assure them they will feel better, that suicidal thoughts are only temporary, and that there are people who can help them.

  • Always take suicidal tendencies seriously and respond immediately.
  • Seek immediate help…a GP, the local ambulance service, your local community mental health service….any of the links on this site.