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What Parents Should Know About Teen Suicide

It seems like recently we are hearing more stories than ever about young people taking their own lives. Often it comes as a shock to family and friends, even if there may have been signs something was wrong. In July 2023, the American Psychological Association released a study indicating that 20% of teens have seriously considered suicide. The CDC reports that teen suicide has increased 36% between 2000 and 2021.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of this observance, we want to remind parents that TSD has counselors at each of our schools. We encourage you to reach out if you are concerned about your student’s mental health. Contact a counselor, teacher, or your school administrator. We can help you find resources and support.

Tips For Parents

Behavioral health concerns can show in various ways, and being aware of the signs can help parents address issues early. Here are things to watch for:

  1. Drastic Changes in Behavior: Sudden and extreme shifts in behavior, such as withdrawal from social activities, increased irritability, or excessive mood swings can be red flags.
  2. Academic Decline: A decline in academic performance may signal underlying emotional or psychological challenges. If your child was thriving in school but is now struggling, investigate the root cause.
  3. Changes in Sleep Patterns: Both insomnia and excessive sleeping can indicate stress or emotional distress in children. Pay attention to changes in their sleep patterns.
  4. Social Isolation: If your child begins to isolate themselves from friends and family, it may indicate emotional struggles. A sudden loss of interest in social activities could be a warning sign.
  5. Physical Complaints: Unexplained physical complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches, may stem from emotional distress. Explore your student’s physical and emotional health when addressing concerns.
  6. Risk-Taking Behavior: Engaging in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm, may indicate a deeper emotional struggle. Keep an eye out for signs of dangerous activities.
  7. Difficulty Concentrating: Behavioral health concerns can impact a child's ability to focus and concentrate. If your child struggles to stay attentive, explore potential underlying issues.

If you notice any of these signs persisting over time, it’s important to seek professional help from a mental health professional or counselor. Visit our website to find resources and contacts for individuals that can help.