Trauma-based & Family Psychotherapy For Angry, Anxious, Depressed, and Frustrated Families

Webinar: What parents should know about teen suicide

Teen suicide
Photo credit: EmSlichter

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States for individuals between the  ages of 15-24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Approximately 3% of adolescents engage in medically serious suicide attempts. These suicide attempts often predate serious, overlooked, or untreated mental illnesses.

This article will provide brief facts about teen suicide and include a 30min webinar for parents and teachers.

Some families have a very difficult time understanding why a teen would consider suicide and how they would complete it. When I meet with parents who are concerned that their teen may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, I encourage them to “safe-proof” their home and to have a frank conversation with the teen about their concerns. Parents are often uninformed about ways teens may attempt to kill themselves. As a result, my job in therapy sessions has been to help parents and families make a list of ways their teen might attempt suicide. This allows the parent to ask me questions, the teen to open up about their thoughts, and me to foster open communication. Some common examples of teen suicide attempts include but are not limited to:

  • Jumping in front of traffic
  • Snorting household items or cleaning supplies
  • Using guns or other weapons (i.e., hunting knives, rifles, shot-guns)
  • Overdosing on medication (i.e., over the counter medications, prescription medication)
  • Mixing drugs with alcohol
  • Jumping off of things
  • Reckless driving

The most common occurring mental illnesses among adolescents who attempt suicide include:

  • Mood disorders: Major Depressive Disorder or bipolar Disorder (previous termed manic depression)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder or another personality disorder
  • Severe and untreated anxiety,
  • Severe or untreated mental illness which may include psychosis or delusions, and
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

How serious is teen suicide?

According to the Treatment Advocacy Center (2012), the approximate number of Americans over 18 with severe bipolar disorder is 5.1   million (2.2% of the population). In some cases, bipolar disorder begins in adolescents and many parents and teachers begin seeing warning signs around age 14. In cases involving untreated mental illness, annual suicides by Americans with severe mental illness include a total of 6,000 lives.

Sadly, young males are more likely to commit suicide than young females, often because they utilize more aggressive means to commit suicide such as guns or other similar weapons. Females tend to attempt suicide by overdosing.

Suicide among the adolescent population is a serious concern for mental health professionals and society at large. It is important that parents, families, teachers, and other adults within the community understand the prevalence of teen suicidal behaviors so that a greater understanding how to help our youths may be achieved.

Webinar for parents & teachers

If you are looking for tips or concrete and practical information on this topic, feel free to tune into my most recent webinar on teen suicide by clicking below:

You can also read my previous article contribution about adolescent suicide from


As always, I wish you well

*CORONA VIRUS UPDATE1050 Lincoln Way, Ste 1 - Pittsburgh PA

As we get closer to the middle of May states across the nation are passing laws, reducing restrictions, and enacting new regulations to help support the transition from stay-at-home orders to the normal flow of life again.

Unfortunately, Gov. Wolf hasn't reduced the mask wearing restrictions in Allegheny County. However, he has announced most of Western PA will be moving to the yellow phase beginning May 15. This means that we can slowly regain some normalcy.

But until the mask wearing restrictions are reduced or eliminated Anchored Child & Family Counseling will remain closed. I will be making small transitions back to the office over the course of summer and seeing some clients in-person based on need.The office will be open starting June 17, 2020 with the goal of remaining open until/if state laws change in response to Corona virus restrictions.

In the meantime, I will be continuing teletherapy sessions until mid-June. My office assistant and I will be monitoring your insurance policy to ensure that you will be covered for teletherapy and that your copayments will be waived. At this time, it appears that all major insurance companies (UPMC, Highmark, Aetna, Optum/United, and Cigna) are continuing to provide coverage for teletherapy.

Please check (the practice website) for updates and my business facebook page at:

Please continue to stay safe!
Thank you


Támara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP, LPC

Licensed Child & Family Therapist
National Board Certified Counselor
Internationally Certified Trauma Therapist

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