155 East Main St., Kent, Ohio 44240

Suicide Risk Factorsin Children and Teens

For Immediate Help

For immediate suicide prevention help and assistance, call 1-866-449-8518 (Townhall II Helpline) or 1-877-796-3555 (Coleman).

Suicide Risk Factors in Children and Teens

  • Depression is a mood disorder that can occur at any time across the lifespan. While environmental stressors may trigger it, we now know that depression has certain physiological components, especially in the brain.
  • Infants and very young children may experience depression, but major depression, that is, a depression that interferes with normal functioning, generally makes its first appearance around the time of puberty and is often mistaken for the normal ups and downs of adolescence.
  • Serious depression can be deadly for children and adolescents. More than 5,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 25 complete suicide yearly.
  • Depression related suicide is the leading medical cause of death for youth between the ages of 14 and 25.
  • Untreated depression in young people can have long range consequences in impaired educational and social development. Young people with depression and related disorders are at higher risk for substance abuse and ending up in the criminal justice system.
  • Effective treatments for childhood depression are available through mental health professionals or community services for children.
  • Most adolescent suicide attempts happen after a relationship conflict. The intent of the behavior appears to be to change the behaviors or attitudes of others, such as parents, boyfriend or girlfriend.
Many teens display one or more of the problems or warning signs listed here:
  • Presence of a psychiatric disorder
  • The expression, communication of thoughts of suicide, death, dying, afterlife
  • Impulsive and aggressive behavior, frequent expressions of rage
  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Exposure to another’s suicidal behavior
  • Recent severe stressor
  • Family instability, significant family conflict