Teen Suicide

September 12, 2014 • Volume 24, Issue 32
Do suicide-prevention programs work?
By Barbara Mantel

Introduction

Steve Stuban (Getty Images/The Washington Post/Linda Davidson)
Steve Stuban visits the grave of his son Nick, 15, who took his own life in 2011 after getting into trouble at school. He was one of several students at Woodson High School in Arlington, Va., who apparently have died by suicide in the past three years. Teen suicide recently reached a 13-year high of 6.7 deaths per 100,000 teens. (Getty Images/The Washington Post/Linda Davidson)

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 13- to 19-year-olds, after unintended injury and before homicides, and the teen suicide rate has risen recently. Yet researchers and mental health professionals cannot pinpoint why the rate has climbed, and they know little about what causes someone thinking about suicide to attempt it. Moreover, the ability to predict who is at immediate risk is limited. As a result, suicide screening tools are of limited effectiveness, and most school-based suicide-prevention programs may not reduce teen suicides. Yet researchers are hopeful that new studies, including large trials of three kinds of psychotherapy in adolescents, will increase understanding of teen suicide and lead to better identification and treatment of high-risk teens. Meanwhile, a growing number of states are requiring educators to be trained to recognize and respond to potentially suicidal youths. Additionally, researchers have begun delving into physical brain characteristics that might be connected to teen suicide.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Mental Health
Mar. 13, 2015  Prisoners and Mental Illness
Dec. 05, 2014  Treating Schizophrenia
Sep. 12, 2014  Teen Suicide
May 10, 2013  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 03, 2012  Treating ADHD
Jun. 01, 2012  Traumatic Brain Injury
Jun. 26, 2009  Treating Depression
Feb. 13, 2004  Youth Suicide
Feb. 06, 2004  Mental Illness Medication Debate
Mar. 29, 2002  Mental Health Insurance
Feb. 08, 2002  Treating Anxiety
Jul. 16, 1999  Childhood Depression
Jun. 18, 1999  Boys' Emotional Needs
Sep. 12, 1997  Mental Health Policy
Aug. 19, 1994  Prozac
Aug. 06, 1993  Mental Illness
Oct. 09, 1992  Depression
Jun. 14, 1991  Teenage Suicide
Jul. 08, 1988  Biology Invades Psychology
Feb. 13, 1987  The Mentally Ill
Aug. 20, 1982  Mental Health Care Reappraisal
Jun. 12, 1981  Youth Suicide
Sep. 21, 1979  Mental Health Care
Sep. 15, 1978  Brain Research
Jul. 05, 1974  Psychomedicine
Aug. 08, 1973  Emotionally Disturbed Children
Dec. 27, 1972  Mental Depression
Mar. 24, 1972  Schizophrenia: Medical Enigma
Apr. 21, 1971  Approaches to Death
Mar. 03, 1971  Encounter Groups
Nov. 25, 1970  Psychological Counseling of Students
Feb. 19, 1969  Future of Psychiatry
Feb. 02, 1966  New Approaches to Mental Illness
Jan. 22, 1964  Insanity as a Defense
Sep. 25, 1963  Anatomy of Suicide
Nov. 20, 1957  Drugs and Mental Health
Apr. 23, 1954  Mental Health Programs
Jul. 09, 1948  Mental Health
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