Teen suicide is “the third-leading cause of death for young people age 15 to 24. (American Psychological Association) According to the research of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), nearly 1,700 teenagers in the US commit suicide annually because emotional, social and family pressures. Teenagers are in the gray area between childhood and adulthood, and on the way to find out their own sexual identity and relationships with others. Also, they are under great pressure to be independence and responsible for their lives.
Suicidal risk factors among teens are: * Family crisis- family loss, parents separation or divorce * Psychological problems- anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, insomnia, or alcohol/drug use. * Family history of depression or suicide * Being victims of bullying * A previous suicide attempt * Feelings of isolation from others, family or peers; hopelessness. * Emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Teen suicide is preventable, so being aware of the warning signs is important. (American Psychological Association) Taking about Dying – any mention of dying, shooting oneself, or other types of self harm *Recent Loss – through death, divorce, broken relationship, loss of interest in friends and hobbies. *Change in personality – sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, or indecisive. *Change in sleep Patterns – Change in Eating Patterns – insomnia, early waking or oversleeping, nightmares. *Change in Eating Habits – loss of appetite and weight, or overeating. Low Self Esteem – Feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt, self-hatred. Indication of a suicidal plan((Teen Suicide): *Actually says about committing suicide. *Giving away or throwing away favorite belongings. * Shows signs of extreme cheerfulness following periods of depression. * Creates suicide notes. *Expresses bizarre or unsettling thoughts on occasion. The role of the nurse as a healthcare professional is important to educate parents, teachers and community members about the warning signs to prevent a teen suicide.
The nurse can help parents recognize who is at risk for suicide, and what they can do is essential. Keeping relations with the teen who are at risk, and asking questions about the thoughts of hopelessness or suicide can be an important step to prevent. Moreover, inform the parents how they can get help from health professionals. The parents can help in case of emergency by calling (800)SUICIDE for help. Suicidal thoughts do tend to come and go, so the nurse should encourage the parents to keep the scheduled appointment with a mental health professional, even though the teen refuses.
Nearly 60% of all suicides in the US are committed with a gun, therefore inform the parents that any gun should be unloaded, locked, and kept out of the reach of teens. Furthermore, overdose using over0the-counter, prescription, and non-prescription medicine is another method for teens for suicide. Therefore, the nurse needs to educate the parents to monitor carefully all medications in their homes. ( Kids Health) Losing a child from suicide is a painful tragedy for the patents, and the teen who is a survivor of suicide need help from a health care professional to recover from the tragedy.
Advise them to maintain contact with others, remember that other family members are grieving, too, expect that any anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays may be difficult, understand that it’s normal to feel guilty, counseling and support groups. **New Jersey Regional Crisis Hotline: Bergen County (all areas)? (201) 262-HELP, 262-4357: Bergen Regional Hospital, Hotline, Psychiatric Emergency Room, Mobile Screening **New Jersey’s Hotline Local hotline number: 908-232-2880, or Text “CWC” to 839863 M,W,F 4:00pm -10:00pm References 1. New Jersey Regional Crisis Hotline: http://www. njit. edu/counseling/gethelp/crisis. php 2. New Jersey’s Caring and Crisis Hotline, Contact We Care: http://www. contactwecare. org/ 3. Teen Suicide: http://www. teensuicide. us/articles2. htm 4. About Teen Suicide. Kids Health. http://kidshealth. org/parent/emotions/behavior/suicide. html# 5. Teen Suicide is Preventable. American Psychological Association. http://www. apa. org/research/action/suicide. aspx