Teen suicide is when a minor 13 to 19 years old decides to end their life. The said action may be impulsive or planned. However, not all teenage suicide attempts result in death.
The truth is, most suicidal attempts do not mean that these teens want to die. They can also be their way of calling help.
Teen Suicide Rates in Australia
Depression is a main cause of suicide amongst teenagers in Australia. Depression a complex mental illness that can cloud a person’s judgment.
In 2019 alone, an estimate of 384 young people in Australia (aged 18-24) took their own life. Ninety-six of these suicide deaths are children and adolescents with the majority occurring between 15-17 years old.
Anyone can struggle with thoughts of suicide regardless of age. However, the teenage years are particularly hard and stressful. Lots of things can affect a teenager’s mood, way of thinking, and behavior. It is also the phase where their body is changing and might be dealing with hormones.
Pressure from family, friends, teachers and studies can also cause depression. Check with your teens regularly as they may be dealing with negative events in their life.
Symptoms of Suicide
Teenagers who are having suicidal thoughts may suffer a range of symptoms. Some are sadness, despair, frustration, neglect, and anger. Take note that some teenagers who struggle with suicide may not display any signs. It takes observation, experience, and training to recognise symptoms of suicide.
Some of the leading warning signs for suicide may include:
- Frequently talking about death or suicide.
- Curiosity about death and asking questions about how to commit violent acts.
- Talking about leaving or going away soon.
- Social withdrawal or not wanting to be around people anymore.
- Obvious signs of sadness and isolation, instead of happiness and being social.
- More angry or edgy than usual.
- Losing interest in hobbies or events.
- Trouble focusing.
- Obvious changes in normal daily routine such as sleeping, eating, or grooming.
- Unusual vices such as excessive drinking or using drugs.
- Getting in trouble with the law.
If you observe the following symptoms, do not blame the teen for having suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide. Instead, seek professional help to learn what is causing them to feel helpless. Once determined, there are treatment options available.
It is crucial to get help to manage teenage depression and suicide. If you think your teenager is depressed or at risk of self-harm, talk to your doctor.
You also can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14.
We recommend the following ways to protect a teenager from suicidal thoughts and depression:
- Make sure the teenager gets routine medical care. These include regular tests for mental disorders like anxiety and depression.
- Talk to them and let them know that they can come to you with any problem.
- Provide resources on where to get help or support for problems. Help them build confidence and teach them how to handle conflict, violence, and peer pressure.
- Learn Mental Health First Aid to recognise the signs and provide an appropriate response.
Teen Mental Health First Aid
A Mental Health First Aid training course teaches teenagers about common mental health challenges. The training will cover topics on ways to support mental health and help a friend struggling with mental disorders.
It is about equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to foster their own mental wellness and support other people.
Get trained today. Talk to one of our staff who will be happy to assist you with your first aid needs.