Teen Suicide- What Friends and Outside Influences Can Do to Help Prevent this Tragedy

Globally, over 800,000 people die each year of suicide, and there are MANY more who attempt suicide [World Health Organization (WHO), 2012]. Teen suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death among teens/young adults ages 15-29 years old (WHO, 2012).

Additional Teen Suicide Statistics for the U.S.

  • There is an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades 7-12.
  • Approximately 157,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries at Emergency Departments.
  • Boys are more likely than girls to die from suicide.
  • Girls are more likely to report attempting suicide than boys.

Sixth Grader Thinking About Suicide

Suicide, in general, is a major concern, and the rate of teen suicide is alarming. My daughter knows a girl who talked about it because of her home environment. My daughter is in sixth grade! I had the opportunity to speak to my daughter about how this girl can help herself, how my daughter can help this girl, and how others around this girl can help her. This is discussed further below.

Risk Factors for Suicide

  • History of previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • History of depression or other mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Stressful life event or loss
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others
  • Incarceration

How Can the Teen Help Him/Herself?

In an acute suicide situation, talk to a supportive person. Get help. Call a friend, a trusted family member or adult, speak to a church leader, etc. Reach out. View the Who to Call numbers below.

If you are not in an acute situation, meaning you are not having immediate suicidal ideations, think of a plan. Children do not get to choose their parents. Some parents have stresses they are dealing with, and the children slip through the cracks. Some children are bullied and don’t feel comfortable telling anyone. There are multiple reasons why children may feel like their lives are worthless. The best advice I have for any situation is to stay busy by surrounding yourself with positive environments and people (the best that you can). If it is your parents who are driving your nuts, try to get involved in free extracurricular activities (if your parents can’t afford to put you into anything). If you are old enough to work, you may want to get a job to stay busy. Look for role models outside your home.

I didn’t have role models within my home growing up. I kept busy with work and extracurricular activities that were offered by the school. I made sure I maintained good grades because in my eyes, college was my ticket to independence.

Additionally, having a great church environment can give you hope. You have to cling to knowing there is better for you in the future. That will keep you going.

How Can Friends Help?

If a friend makes suicidal threats, you want to protect him/her. Therefore, this should be reported to a respected adult like your parent or a school official.

If the friend is just having a rough time but the friend is safe, listen and give support. The person going through a rough time may just need to know that other people care about him/her.

How Can Adults Help?

Again, if the situation is acute, you want to seek help for the child. If the situation isn’t acute, allow the child in your home (if the other parents allow it). Provide a calm, loving environment for the child. Additionally, there are children who may want to participate in activities outside of school but do not have a ride or the means. Sponsor a child or be willing to transport the child to and from practice if you are already taking your child. These teens need to be around good role models. They need to see hope.

Who to Call?

Crisis Text Line

Suicide Prevention Line

Youth Suicide Prevention Program


There are many great points of discussion and tips that can be shared on teen suicide, but for this post, I wanted to touch on the subject and give some advice. The topic of teen suicide can be uncomfortable to talk about, but I believe it’s too important to ignore. It’s more common than some may think, and it is occurring at younger ages. If we all keep our eyes and hearts open to helping a child/teen who may be struggling and teach our children to be friends with everyone because they never know what another person may be going through, we could help prevent teen suicides. Every child’s/teen’s life is worth saving ❤️.

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60 thoughts on “Teen Suicide- What Friends and Outside Influences Can Do to Help Prevent this Tragedy

  1. Thanks for writing and spreading awareness about this! It’s really a concern because it’s such a prevalent issue, especially with childhood emotional neglect that seems to slip by people’s radar. 😞

    I’ve been there at the rock bottom just past the adolescent phase. I’ve thought of throwing everything away, but what helped me was my dissociative coping mechanism; I pretended everything was fine the moment I was out of the house and I’ve always had a bubbly, easygoing personality, so it was easy being “happy” outside. Of course, I have a mountain of processing to do for years after that, but at least it got me out of rock bottom enough to not think about it anymore. Not sure if it helps others feeling the same way I did, but I hope so. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You were very mature to be able to put on a happy face. You hear that if you make yourself look nice and think positive thoughts, you usually feel better. This seems like what you did. You put on a positive outward appearance, which, in turn, helped you inwardly. This is a great point. Thank you for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It actually didn’t occur to me that by doing that I’d make myself more positive (then again, I was a pretty spaced out kid due to the dissociative coping mechanism), but I’m glad I did! I retained an outgoing personality whenever I’m outside (even though I’m still an introvert 😛), and I’m at a better place now because of it. Thanks for the kind words, Ipuna. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A 24 year old man posted a Facebook Live Video and Then Student Jumped Off 19th Floor of a Hotel Room in Mumbai yesterday. http://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/after-facebook-video-student-jumps-from-19th-floor-of-taj-hotel-in-mumbai-1676992

    Most People just don’t get it, they don’t understand that depression needs to be treated. My mom till date rebukes me when I’m sad or if I cry. According to her these are signs of the weak. It’s sad really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! What a great link to share. This is so sad, but it is more common than people think. We are human. It’s okay to have sad days and cry. The main thing is to have a coping mechanism to keep pushing forward. A great support system helps as well. I agree with you that depression needs to be treated. It’s important to understand the underlying causes for an individual to want to give up. Thank you for commenting. Teen suicide (and suicide in general) is a not easy to talk about, but awareness is necessary. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is really sad, because they people are alone,they need help.Suicide is call for help.We need to help them,we need to talk about positive things every day.We need to say to them “You are not alone” !

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have a one case in my near environment . A friend of mine was in very bad shape.He was deeply depressed.He has repeatedly tried to kill himself couple times. All my attempts to wake him up are failed in start. You can not help to someone if he don’t want help. It was a very difficult time for me.

        Than one day I have decide to try one more time, on his way. I grabbed him hard,shaking him vigorously and I said “Wake up mother f…..” “Take you f….. life in your f…… hands”,and suddenly I felt that I came to him after a long time. He looked at me and said “What are you doing man,you wanna kill me” .I said “No man, I want to revive you”. Now he is a very successful father, husband, and entrepreneur.

        Sometimes I shake him, to remind him to enjoy in the things he already have.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Lucky” your friend survived. Most men take their lives in one shot. 😕 And yes, you can’t help someone if he doesn’t want help. 😂😂😂 You shook him! Sometimes that’s what it takes. I’m so glad you did! you literally woke him up. So glad the story has a happy ending, and I’m glad you still shake him. What a great friend!


          1. Hi tried with tablets couple times,because of that I said that suicide is call for help.Fortunately, he failed.
            It is similar like someone gifts you the most valuable diamante in the world and you throw him away .It is similar with life.Life is a diamante, and when he began to observe it on that way he changed himself,and with that his life.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I am a bit shocked by the numbers… D: I knew this was a growing problem (in the Netherlands as well), but I didn’t know the extent. Hope your post gets lots of attention and helps people who either deal with these feelings or who know someone who does.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is a very serious issue, and it must be tackled and addressed at its core: serious depression. People who suffer from serious deep, clinical depression have almost unstoppable thoughts of suicide. It should be natural to think that people who are closest to a depressed person should pick up on the signs of serious depression, and that they have a high risk of suicide, but that is often not the case…sometimes the depressed feel no one at all gives a $hit, and that their world is filled with hopelessness from which there is no return. It’s not just teens at risk, ANYONE who has slipped into the abyss probably thinks of suicide. People at risk need to feel like p

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just hit send too soon, sorry. People at risk need to think that people in their family, or friends, actually care, and sometimes, there is no sense of anyone caring, and an OVERWHELMING cloud of being all alone in the fight, becomes too much, and overwhelming. The depressed, need to feel loved. That is powerful medicine, and something that so many don’t have.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope too, that people would understand how IF they honestly show support and love to someone who is depressed, that it would mean the world to that person who is depressed. It is when the depressed person is shown no love, when the real danger occurs…it leads to feelings of worthlessness, and absolute hopelessness. Thanks for you blog post.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. YES! In working with children for years as a PICU nurse and as a Peds Nurse Practitioner, I saw many teens ignored. Then, they would end up in the hospital for attempted suicide. Everyone needs love and attention. Thank you for your comments.


  7. Hello Ipuna! I just wanted to mention a horrific story I read in a local Malaysian newspaper: the very CLIFFS NOTES headline was, ‘Person who attempted suicide FINED RM2,000!’ I was completely appalled by this, as the (in)justice system seems to want to make people’s lives (who obviously have clinical depression) even worse! What IF this person was destitute and at the end of his or her financial rope? And thus, they believed that their only way out of this misery was suicide because they could NOT get any financial help from anyone? Then, the court wants to further add to this person’s woos with more fines? Rm2,000 is around USD500 approximately. And if they can’t pay, then what? USUALLY, I see criminal penalties in these terms: “A 500 dollar fine, or 6 months jail, or both,” just as an example. If this person cannot pay, then what, the person may be jailed, AND OR, face whipping (with a bamboo stick [perhaps]). It would appear to me that a more suitable punishment would be mandatory psychiatric help, and help from society, financial assistance, and life skills training, etc., for this person to feel better about their life and with society. So, anyway, apparently that is the penalty for attempting suicide here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What? That is unbelievable! I’m blown away! Fined for attempting suicide! Wow! Possible jail time or a whipping????
      I agree with you. The person should have to join a support group, get psychiatric help, or something like that. The person needs anything that will help improve his/her life, not make it worse. Thank you for sharing. It’s very interesting to learn what occurs in other countries.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. While I don’t agree with the fine, the intent might have been to send a message that suicide is not okay. A few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell in his book Tipping Point, publicized a problem with teen suicide in one of the Micronesian countries where young people, it seemed, were choosing suicide as a means to escape problems that were pretty commonplace – one of his examples was a boy who couldn’t choose between two girls who loved him so he killed himself instead.
      Our view on life is strongly based on our religious perspective. Some Muslims believe suicide for the purpose of jihad will be rewarded in heaven. Some Hindus believe that if things are not going well in this life, they can quit and come back in another form. Some Christians see suicide as the unpardonable sin. I don’t think the culture is the same everywhere so it’s hard to know exactly what the problem is in those other countries and hence what the right approach might be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent points. You bring up such great religious and even cultural perspectives. It is definitely hard to say what the right answer is. I do believe our lives our gifts, but I’m not sure if others see it that way.


  8. The suicide statics are shocking! I always feel horrible thinking about those kids who feel like they can’t talk to anybody. Suicide should never be an option. You never know what a person is going through. One kind sentence or even a smile can give hope to somebody!
    This is very informative. It’s great that you’re using to blog as a platform to raise awareness.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good article Ipuna. Valuable information on an unfortunately growing trend. My wife read this article yesterday on social media when a friend of ours posted it. While we have Netflix I have not come across this series yet, though our friend who posted the article said that her daughters have heard others in our school discussing the series. Have you come across any information on this show? What are your thoughts? (Perhaps a whole other post.) Thanks.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff,
      I actually read the book. My quick take on the book is that it was uniquely written. I do think teen suicide is real and important to talk about. The issue I had with the book is that I never felt there was big reason for the girl to kill herself. Someone didn’t look at her. Someone didn’t say hello. Things like that. After getting through the book, I realized that maybe this was the author’s intention. He wanted to show that people can get depressed and want to commit suicide with the snowball effect of many little things. I hope that the teens that watch the series focus more on being kind to one another and not focus on when times letting problems snowball to the point of no hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Leadership2Mommyship and commented:
    Please take a minute to read this article; it carries an important message regarding teenagers and suicide. And if sharing Ipuna Black’s thoughts will boost awareness of teen suicide, I will push this reblog button a million times and again.

    “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
    Oscar Wilde

    Liked by 1 person

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