Teens Who are a Suicide Risk, Even with Treatment

A PBS interview discussing teens who are depressed and at risk for attempting suicide revealed that, according to a large, recent study, “More than half of the young people who planned, thought of, or attempted to kill themselves had received at least some treatment.”  This is troublesome, when you consider that suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents.  The study discussed in the interview showed that even though symptoms of depression may improve under treatment, “even if we see these teenagers becoming better in terms of their symptoms of depression reducing, we need to continue to check in with them about whether they’re having thoughts, plans, or ideas around suicide.”  Part of the interview discusses what caring adults may be able to do, acknowledging that “teachers and parents, are often very uncomfortable with this idea of speaking with them about it….And there’s a myth in society that if you bring up the topic of suicide with teenagers, that they’re more likely to act on those impulses, when in fact we know the opposite is true, that parents, peers and teachers, when they bring up this notion with teenagers, it shows care and concern and it actually helps decrease some suicidal ideation [formation of suicidal thoughts and ideas].”