More than 36,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year. It is this country’s 10th leading cause of death.  Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-to-24 year olds, and the fifth leading cause of death for 5-to-14 year olds.

Teenagers experience strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up. For some teenagers, divorce, the formation of a new family with step-parents and step-siblings, or moving to a new community can be very unsettling and can intensify self-doubts. For some teens, suicide may appear to be a solution to their problems and stress.

Depression and suicidal feelings are treatable mental disorders. The child or adolescent needs to have his or her illness recognized and diagnosed, and appropriate treatment plans developed. When parents are in doubt whether their child has a serious problem, a psychiatric examination can be very helpful. It is important to remember that everyone can help prevent the tragedy of a suicide, just speak up and show that you care.