INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Suicide — it’ a dark topic that’s tough to discuss, especially in connection with teens.
New information released by the Indiana Youth Institute showed that many Hoosier teens have thought about suicide.
To put that into perspective, the IYI’s 2017 Kid’s Count Data Book revealed that one in six high school students have considered suicide. One in eight students have actually made a plan to attempt suicide.
Between 2007 and 2011, 1,722 Hoosiers age 10 to 29 were treated for an attempted suicide or self-inflicted injury.
Tami Silverman, president and CEO of Indiana Youth Institute, said parents need to be aware of any serious changes in their teens.
“As adults we need to listen to some of those clues,” she said. “When the teens are telling us they just don’t know if they can go on; if you see those behaviors where they used to want to hang out with their friends and now they don’t anymore; if they start giving away things; if they’re really hostile or aggressive or conversely; if they’re really withdrawn — any of those. Pay attention to those signs.”
Often times suicidal thoughts are linked a family history of suicide or an underlying mental health issue like depression or stress.
“If you can listen and screen for those things, you can make those connections with the experts, but the experts can’t be everywhere,” she said. “So really it’s again those caring adults — whether they are your Sunday school teacher or a coach or a neighbor or a friend or a family member — listening to those kids and hearing what some of those clues might be. can really go a long way.”
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 for anyone who may be contemplating suicide. That number is 1-800-273-8255.