UNDERSTAND THE RISK FACTORS FOR TEEN SUICIDE

1. Previous suicide attempts or current suicidal thoughts

2. Psychiatric disorders (such as bipolar disorder or depression, impulsive aggressive behavior)

3. Drug and/or alcohol abuse

4. Access to firearms

5. Situational stress

KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS

Five warning signs of depression in teens:

1. Sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

2. Declining school performance

3. Loss of pleasure or interest in social and sports activities

4. Sleeping too little or too much

5. Changes in weight or appetite

Five warning signs of bipolar disorder in teens:

1. Difficulty sleeping

2. Excessive talkativeness, rapid speech, racing thoughts

3. Frequent mood changes (both up and down), and/or irritability

4. Risky behavior

5. Exaggerated ideas of ability and importance

TAKE ACTION

Three steps parents and school counselors can take:

1. Get the child help (a medical or mental health professional)

2. Support the child (listen, avoid undue criticism, remain connected)

3. Become informed (library, local support group, internet)

Three steps teens can take:

1. Take your friend’s actions seriously

2. Encourage your friend to seek professional help; accompany if necessary

3. Talk to an adult you trust; don’t be alone in helping your friend