03/29/2015 (press release: kidsinthehouse) // Los Angeles, CA
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in 4,400 youth suicides every year, and for every youth suicide there are more than 100 suicide attempts. Kids In The House sat down with experts to learn the leading causes of teen suicide and how parents can prevent it.
Kids in the House interviewed Pattie Mallette, New York Times Best Selling Author and mother of pop star, Justin Bieber, who shared her personal story of facing suicidal thoughts as a teenager.
“In that moment, when I was suicidal I felt hopeless ,” says Mallette. “I felt unworthy and un-loveable and angry…and everything that was happening felt like it was insurmountable.”
Mallette says that the most important thing for a teenager to remember and for parents to remind any teen who is facing depression or suicidal thoughts is that no problem is the end of the world.
“Many young people lack the life experience to know that how they’re feeling at the moment is not how they will always feel,” says psychologist and author, Stephen Gray Wallace, MS, Ed.
Although the teen suicide rates have not significantly increased or decreased within the last several decades, Clinical Director of CRC Health Group, Rick Meeves, PhD, LMFT, says there is huge correlation between the Internet and teen suicide .
Experts say the Internet gives youth access to more stories of suicide and how to go about it. Additionally, the Internet is a space where cyberbullying can easily take place.
Experts say that at least half of youth suicides are a result of bullying, including cyberbullying. Kids In The House interviewed children from the Los Angeles area to learn the personal effects of bullying to create an #EndBullying PSA. The PSA sheds light on the fact that words can kill both in person and online.
“These children are so brave for speaking out and telling their personal stories of being bullied in order to help change the world,” Beyonce posted on her personal Facebook page along with the Kids In The House #EndBullying PSA.
Psychologist David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP says that there are three warning signs parent should watch out for in the attitude of their child to prevent suicide attempts: 1) Everything sucks 2) It’s my fault 3) I can’t change it.
“If you think that way,” says Palmiter, “suicide starts feeling like a choice because the pain is amazingly intense.”
Experts say that another warning sign of teenage suicide is self-harm. Psychologist, Wendy Lader, PhD, says self-harm has increased due to our society’s disenfranchisement.
“Kids have a sense of alienation and loneliness that they may not have experienced in the past,” says Lader.
According to Lader, any form a self-injury is a sign that your child is unhappy and has a dislike for him or herself. However, experts say this feeling is highly treatable and getting your child the proper treatment is essential in keeping him or her safe from both self-harm and suicide.
Experts say that to help a child who is engaging in self-harm sometimes may mean encouraging them to go to a treatment center, take prescription medication, or talk to a therapist.
“Hold on and know that it can and will get better,” says Mallette.
If you suspect that your teen or a teenager you know is suicidal and you want to learn more visit www.kidsinthehouse.com.
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