Some Things You Can Do To Help Prevent Youth Suicide

Child suicides are up. So please parents, for the love of God, be all up in your kids business!

The numbers are staggering. We have an epidemic that cannot be ignored. It’s happening all across the country. Our kids are in crisis.

The data on the suicide rate for kids in California is alarming. It is especially high (over 11%) in counties like San Diego and Kern. The website provides this statement.

“Youth suicide and self-inflicted injury are serious social and public health concerns. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-24 in the U.S. (1). A nationwide survey in 2015 found that more than 1 in 6 high school students reported seriously considering suicide in the previous year, and more than 1 in 12 reported attempting it (2). In addition, approximately 157,000 youth ages 10-24 are treated for self-inflicted injuries in emergency rooms every year (3). Self-inflicted injuries are not necessarily the result of suicide attempts; in fact, self-harm without the intent to die is more prevalent than self-harm with such intent (4). Across all ages, suicide and self-inflicted injury in the U.S. cost an estimated $45 billion annually in medical expenses and work loss; actual costs may be higher as many suicides and attempted suicides are not reported due to social stigma (5, 6).”

Why are our kids harming themselves at this rate? We need to do more to help kids in crisis.  Comadres, did you know that according to the following is true?:

“Unfortunately, suicide crosses all age, racial, and socioeconomic groups in the US and around the world. In the US, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among children and adolescents ages 10-24, and the 3rd leading cause of death among 12 year olds. Nearly one of every eight children between the ages 6 and 12 has suicidal thoughts. The suicide rate is approximately 4 times higher among males than among females, but females attempt suicide 3 times as often as males. When a suicide occurs, everyone is affected, including the people who are left behind.”

What can we do? We need to do something. We know that there are several reasons that kids are harming themselves. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Mental illness/psychiatric diagnosis
  • Family history of suicide and/or exposure to suicide Family history of mental illness
  • Physical/sexual abuse
  • Losses
  • Aggressive behavior/impulsivity
  • Lack of social support/social isolation
  • Poor coping skills
  • Access to ways of harming oneself, like guns, knives, etc.
  • Difficulties in dealing with sexual orientation
  • Physical illness
  • Family disruptions (divorce or problems with the law)
  • Traumatic event

There are also warning signs we should watch for:

  • Preoccupation with death (e.g., recurring themes of death or self-destruction in artwork or written assignments
  • Intense sadness and/or hopelessness
  • Not caring about activities that used to matter
  • Social withdrawal from family, friends, sports, social activities
  • Substance abuse
  • Sleep disturbance (either not sleeping or staying awake all night)
  • Giving away possessions
  • Risky behavior
  • Lack of energy
  • Inability to think clearly/concentration problems
  • Declining school performance/increased absences from school
  • Increased irritability
  • Changes in appetite

Here are 10 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Suicide. Parents please read and inform yourselves on the issue.  It could be the difference between life and death. Do not be afraid or too proud to ask for help!  Let’s save our kids!

Additionally, school bullying has become increasingly problematic especially with the role that social media plays with teens in schools. We need to increase awareness at all levels to help our kids cope with these issues.  

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

Available 24 hours everyday.

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Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia

Leticia Chavez-Garcia is a Mother, Grandmother, former Middle School Teacher, former Member of a School Board of Education and an Education Advocate for hundreds of parents and students in the Inland Empire. Having become a mother at 15, Leticia knows what it’s like to be a single mother trying to navigate the education system. Leticia received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from California Baptist University and a Masters’ Degree in Education Technology from Cal State Fullerton in her 30’s. Leticia has used her knowledge and experience to help hundreds of families as an Education Advocate in the Inland Empire and currently works as an Education Specialist.

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