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What Everybody Ought to Know About Suicide

Depressed youth

By Lauren Fasig, JD, PhD (Director, APA Children, Youth, and Families Office)

Suicide touches everyone. Adults, teens, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, popular people, loners, geeks, jocks, scientists, artists, plumbers, doctors, farmworkers, soldiers, lawyers, teachers, minsters, police officers, dishwashers…everyone.

Did you know suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 10-24? About 4,700 youth die by suicide each year (CDC, 2010). Each of these deaths could be prevented.

An array of prevention tools and programs are available, ranging from peer programs to school-based programs to mental health providers. Many schools and communities offer these resources, but parents and friends may be unaware of how to access them or even when to get involved.

Suicide is not something that we talk about freely or easily in our society. But through research we have learned a lot about suicide, including many risk factors, many protective factors, and many ways to help those who are considering suicide, those who have attempted a suicide, and family members of those who have died by suicide.

  1. Do you know about the resources in your community?

  2. Do you know when or how to help a loved one who may be considering suicide?

Join APA-President Elect Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP at 9:00 am on May 15th as she talks about suicidal behavior in a Speak Up For Kids live webcast event.   

In her presentation, Dr. Kaslow will address the following questions.

  1. What are the common myths about suicide in children and adolescents?

  2. If I suspect my child is feeling suicidal, what should I do?

  3. How can schools and communities work together to prevent suicide?

She will also save time at the end to answer audience questions. So, please tune in.

And if you missed the webcast, don’t worry. Speak Up for Kids will archive it for later viewing.

If you, or a loved one, are struggling with thoughts of suicide – please get help.

  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:, 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

  2. The Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth:, 1-866-488-7386

For more information on suicide in children and adolescents:

  1. American Psychological Association:

  2. American Association of Suicidology:

  3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Teen Suicide Prevention:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010). Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQARS). Retrieved from

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