Suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds globally in 2012. While teenagers may go through difficult emotions such as loneliness or extremely stressful situations that have grave ramifications on their self-esteem and self-concept, they can also be driven to self-harm or even suicide. A suicidal child is likely to be filled with many despairing and negative emotions that make it difficult for him to see beyond a very narrow focus. Such children would feel helpless about being able to change the present and therefore hopeless about the future and are driven to self-destruction.
1 Suicide can be prevented.
More often than not, suicide is not an impulsive decision that happens on the spur of the moment. In fact, it is a well thought out decision, which means that there could be many clear warning signs of people who might be contemplating suicide.
2. Talk about it.
If you suspect a person of considering suicide, you should not hesitate to talk about it. This will not plant the idea in the person’s head. On the contrary, the person is most likely considering suicide as a last resort. But if you talk about it, you could help the person realize that there could be an alternative available.
3. Bust myths.
Some teenagers may also harbour certain myths about suicide that are sometimes propagated in the media. They might think suicide is an act of bravery or rebellion. At the same time, such signs should not be overlooked as attention seeking tactics, and should be addressed seriously.
4. Social skills training.
Besides dealing with a crisis situation, it is important for schools and the community to promote active social skills training, to help the youth to develop healthier coping mechanisms to deal with their internal conflicts. Efforts could be made to focus on parents and teachers alike building trust and rapport with them, so as to enable an atmosphere of open communication.
5. Detoxify the environment.
If the adolescent is at risk for suicide, he or she should not be left alone. All dangerous items that are potentially harmful including sharp objects, pills, and poisonous substances need to be removed from the reach of the teenager. He or she should not be allowed access to the balcony or the terrace either.
6. Seek professional advice.
It is absolutely crucial to seek help from a psychiatrist at the earliest to prevent any untoward incident. This is especially so for the adolescents who are severely depressed or at high risk for suicide. Suicidal thoughts and intents are very often associated with a treatable mental disorder like depression, and such a realization can not only instil a sense of confidence but also make the adolescent more amenable to seeking professional help.\