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Youth Suicide Prevention: A Call to Action

September is Suicide Prevention Month. At PerformCare, we want parents to know that youth suicide can be prevented. The best way to stop suicide is to get help as soon as you think you think your child may be depressed. This is called early intervention.

Nearly 1 in 13 high school students have tried to commit suicide*. One in 6 has thought about it. This can be caused by depression.

Depression is treatable and suicide can be stopped. Learn the warning signs. Getting help early can help save a child’s life.

Causes of youth depression

Fall can be a hard time of year for kids. At PerformCare, we typically see a 50 percent rise in calls in September and October. Some depression triggers for youth include:

  • Summer ending
  • Going back to school
  • Being bullied

Signs of depression in kids

Depression symptoms are different for each person. But there are warning signs many kids show when they are depressed.

Look out for:

  • Sudden change in normal behavior, like wanting to be alone 
  • Sudden change in sleep pattern
  • Sudden change in eating habits
  • Acting hopeless
  • Bad temper
  • Giving away favorite items
  • Talking about suicide

Watch for a sudden positive change in mood, too. This could mean a suicide attempt is about to happen.

If you see the signs above, talk to your child. Get professional help right away. The sooner you step in, the better chance there is for a full recovery.

How to get help for depressed youth

PerformCare can connect you and your child to behavioral health services. Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ll connect you to experts who can help — often at no cost to you. We can even send a response unit to your child for swift, in-person counseling within an hour of your call.

For more information about these services, call us at 1-877-652-7624.

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6304.pdf?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=youth-risk-behavior-surveillance-united-states-2013-pdf