Special Populations at Risk: Youth

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 19.

The Facts

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a national survey among high schoolers grades 9-12, and found that in the past 12 months:

    • 16% reported seriously considering suicide,

    • 13% reported creating a plan for suicide, and

    • 8% reported attempting suicide.

  • The CDC further reports that:

    • Boys are more likely to complete suicide, whereas girls are more likely to report their attempts.

    • Native American/Alaskan Native youth have the highest rates of completed suicides.

    • Hispanic/Latino youth are at higher risk for suicide than non-Hispanic/non-Latino.

    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) youth are at particually extreme risk of suicide.  Learn more by clicking here.

Risk Factors

  • Mental illness including depression, bipolar, and substance abuse.

  • Victim of bullying.

  • Family stress, dysfunction, and/or suicide history.

  • Stressful environment (e.g. problems at school, experiencing loss, etc.)

  • Access to lethal weapons (e.g. guns in home).

  • Preoccupation with death (including subtle or direct comments about suicide).

  • Past suicide attempts.

Warning Signs

  • Warning signs of suicide by youth are the same as for adults.  Learn more by clicking here.  However, keep in mind the youth's perspective and specific situation(s) must be taken into account.

What to Do

  • Steps you would take for youth in crisis are the same as for adults.  Learn more by clicking here.  However, keep in mind the youth's perspective and specific situation(s) must be taken into account.