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Mental Health


  • 1 in 3 (30.6%) young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced a mental, behavioral, or emotional health issue in the past year (SAMHSA, 2021).

  • 26.9% of teens ages 12-17 have one or more mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems (NSCH, 2019).

  • 36.7% of high school students reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year. This percentage is higher for females (46.6%), Hispanic students (40.0%), and lesbian, gay or bisexual students (66.3%) (CDC, 2020).

  • Among college students, 29.1% have been diagnosed with anxiety and 23.6% have been diagnosed with depression (NCHA, 2021).

Suicide Rates


  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for teens and young adults, ages 10-34 (CDC, 2022).

  • 25.5% of adults ages 18-24 reported having seriously considered suicide in the past month. This is a higher percentage than any other adult age group (CDC, 2020).

  • 18.8% of high school students reported having seriously considered suicide in the past year. This percentage is higher among females (24.1%), and lesbian, gay, or bisexual teens (46.8%) (CDC, 2020).

  • 8.9% of high school students attempted suicide in the past year. This percentage is highest among females (11.0%), black teens (11.8%), and lesbian, gay, or bisexual teens (23.4%) (CDC, 2020).

  • Guns are used in more than half of teen suicides.

Rates are increasing!

The suicide rate for 13- to 30-year-olds has steadily increased from 2010 to 2018 (showing a decrease in 2019). This rate is higher among males of all racial/ethnic groups, particularly American Indian males. Source: CDC/WISQARS, 2021

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Difference Between Self-Harm and Suicide

The most significant difference between suicide and self-harm is the intent. Individuals who are suicidal are experiencing severe life stressors and/or mental health disorders that are causing unbearable pain and suicide is their way to end this pain. Suicide attempts usually come from a place of despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness. On the contrary, individuals who engage in self-harm do so to cope with their feelings and stressors.


The physical act of cutting or burning induces pain receptors in the body that triggers the brain to feel an adrenaline “rush” which can easily become addictive and highly dangerous. Although it sometimes is true that individuals who engage in self-harm may later commit suicide, generally individuals who engage in self-harm do not wish to end their life but rather engage in self-harm to cope with their life. Individuals who attempt suicide do so with the intent to end their life due to their suffering.

Warning Signs


  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits

  • Loss of interest in usual activities

  • Withdrawal from friends and family members

  • Acting-out behaviors and running away

  • Alcohol and drug use

  • Neglecting one’s personal appearance

  • Unnecessary risk-taking

  • Obsession with death and dying

  • More physical complaints often linked to emotional distress, such as stomachaches, headaches, and extreme tiredness (fatigue)

  • Loss of interest in school or schoolwork

  • Feeling bored

  • Problems focusing

  • Feeling he or she wants to die

  • Lack of response to praise

  • Sudden unexplained happiness

Another warning sign is making plans or efforts toward committing suicide:

  • Says “I want to kill myself,” or “I'm going to commit suicide.”

  • Gives verbal hints, such as “I won't be a problem much longer,” or “If anything happens to me, I want you to know ....”

  • Gives away favorite possessions or throws away important belongings

  • Becomes suddenly cheerful after a period of depression

  • May express weird thoughts

  • Writes 1 or more suicide notes

How Can I Try and Help?
Talk to the person! It is okay to bring up the topic out of concern and address it. Avoiding it entirely is not going to help the individual experiencing these thoughts and will often times, only lead them to feeling even more isolated and alone. Ask questions. Offer support. Offer to help them find support or take them somewhere. And if the concern is that serious and there is immediate danger, contact 911 for assistance.

NIMH » Suicide Prevention (
Suicide Prevention -
Suicide Prevention Resources | Suicide | CDC
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Help Prevent Suicide | SAMHSA

Resources for/about Teens and Suicide
Talking to teens: Suicide prevention (
What You Need to Know About Youth Suicide | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents & Educators (
Teen Suicide Prevention: What To Know | Newport Academy

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Stay Tuned.....

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