Last month was National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. However, suicide is an issue all year long. Suicide rates have increased by 30% since 1999, according to the CDC, as Interim Inc. reports, and is the second leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 19 years in the United States. Suicide rates have increased by 33% between 1999 and 2014 according to research released earlier this year by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. More than 41,000 people die by suicide each year.
Similar to mental health conditions, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone. Age, gender, and background aren’t a factor in suicidal thoughts. Untreated mental health conditions, in fact, often result in suicide. Although suicidal thoughts are common, they should not be considered normal and are often signs of more serious issues. Below are seven warning signs of suicidal thoughts.
7 Warning Signs of Suicidal Thoughts
- Commentary or threats about killing themselves (suicidal ideation) can start with voicing seemingly harmless thoughts such as “I wish I wasn’t here”
- Increased alcohol and drug use
- Aggressive behavior
- Social withdrawal from friends, family, and community
- Dramatic mood swings
- Talking, writing or thinking about death
- Impulsive or reckless behavior
Parents can find additional resources through a children’s mental health program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital called On Our Sleeves.