USPS Employee Assistance Program    |    800-327-4968  (800-EAP-4YOU)    |    TTY: 877-492-7341
Teen Suicide

Risk Factors

Specific risk factors often increase the chances that a young person will become suicidal. The more factors present the greater the likelihood of suicidal behavior. Here are some common factors to observe:

Recent Loss: Loss of a loved one, good friend or family member, divorce and family break-up
Recent Trauma: Life altering medical problem, accident or crisis
Prior history of attempt: In 30-50% of successful suicide attempts, there is evidence of a prior attempt
Family history: Family history of suicide also increases likelihood
Alcohol or substance abuse: Disinhibitor scan lead to self-destructive behavior and compulsivity
Access to lethal weapons: Pills, weapons
Lack of peer support: Rejected or being misunderstood, absence of a close “buddy”

Warning Signs

Suicide warning signs usually lead to an attempt. By becoming familiar with the signs, you may be able to save a life. The following are signs to look for in teens and young adults:

Talk of suicide and death: Threatening to harm oneself precedes 4 out of 5 suicidal deaths
Loss of interest: in school, peers and/or family
Making final arrangements: or giving away precious possessions
Running away from home: or withdrawing from family and friends
Increased high risk behaviors: for example, driving recklessly or an increase in substance use
Suddenly marked changes: in eating, sleeping behavior or physical appearance

So, how can you be there to provide helpful social support to someone who is depressed or who may be suicidal?

Remove all lethal weapons: Remove weapons from your home including pills, guns, kitchen utensils or rope
Be direct: Do not be afraid to use the word suicide and probe further
Reassure that you love this person: Offer hope and alternatives, and ready resources
Do not be sworn to secrecy: You need to get help right away

Reach out to the EAP anytime for support for yourself or someone you care about.

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

The USPS EAP offers additional resources for spreading awareness and preventing suicide. Follow the link below for more tools and resources available from our most recent Suicide Awareness and Prevention Campaign. Included are ways to identify warning signs, tips for how to talk about suicide and what to do if you recognize signs within yourself or someone else.

Learn More

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