{Guest blog} Young people and suicide

You’ve probably seen or heard about rising suicide rates in the news – it’s scary, right? Right now, we are seeing suicide rates among young people reach the highest levels since 2000. The good news is suicide is preventable, and there are things you can do to support others and help change those statistics.

Whether you have a child at home, work with kids or care for another young person in your family, it’s important to check in on them and their mental health. While it’s common for adolescents to go through moody phases and withdrawal, you should seek professional help if your child is showing signs of depression or other mental health issues.

What you can do:

Understand the risk factors. Not all risk factors directly result in a suicide attempt, however certain ones may increase the likelihood that someone will consider, attempt or die by suicide. These risk factors include mental and substance use disorders, a history of trauma, major physical illness or an experience of loss, among others.

Recognize warning signs. Take note of sudden changes in behavior, especially if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change. Start a conversation with your child or loved one about how they’re doing if something feels off.

Reach out for help. Knowing, supporting and loving a young person who is struggling with their mental health can be stressful, but resources are available. Call the behavioral health number on the back of your insurance card, contact your Employee Assistance Program or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Having a conversation about suicide and mental health concerns is essential to raising awareness, preventing suicide, helping others in crisis and reducing the stigma around mental health. Together, we can save lives. For more information, visit nbdh.com/suicide.

Sources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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