Facts About Teens & Suicide

What’s the problem?

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths. The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center found that almost 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, about 1 in 6 had made plans for suicide, and more than 1 in 12 had attempted suicide in the last year. About 8 of 10 teens who complete suicide ask for help before attempting suicide.

What are the key risk factors of suicide?

These are factors commonly found among suicidal youths (absence does not mean no risk).

History of suicide attempts Criminal justice problems
Abuse, violence, trauma, loss Chronic illness, disability
Family relationship problems White male; Latina teen
Depression, other mental illness Access to firearms
Humiliation, shame, victimization Low self-esteem
Alcohol use Poor coping/problem-solving skills

What are some important protective factors?

These are factors that may help deter suicidal behavior (presence does not mean no risk).

Strong parental/family ties Strong sense of self-worth
Optimism, resilience Willingness to seek help
Emotional stability (not impulsive) Religiosity, spirituality

What are the warning signs of suicide?

In Montgomery County call 1-888-345-7414 (Children’s Crisis Support Service) or a mental health or medical provider if you encounter any of these behaviors in a young person (17 or under):

Hopelessness, burdensomeness Rage, anger, revenge, recklessness
Feeling trapped, helplessness Increasing alcohol and/or drug use
Withdrawal from family, friends, activities Anxiety, agitation, sleep problems
Dramatic mood changes No reason for living

What are the danger signs of suicide?

Immediately call 9-1-1 or 610-279-6100 (or 1-800-273-TALK if out of area) if you encounter:

What can you do to help prevent suicide?


If you or someone you know is thinking
about suicide, please call (610)279-6100