Child suicides have been on the increase in recent decades. Each year, around 20 children commit suicide in the United Kingdom. More than 4000 child suicides each year are recorded in the United States and research there suggests that 20% of teens have seriously thought about it. There are tens of thousands more suicide attempts which are unsuccessful in the US.
There are many causes of suicide including depression due to neglect, bullying, sexual and physical abuse, bereavement, social isolation, low self esteem, the desire to join a deceased partner, trying to punish survivors, the wish to get out of mental or physical pain etc. Two out of three youth suicides have involved mixed substance abuse so this is a major factor too.
Another reason given by young people who are feeling suicidal is their perception of a complete lack of concern by their parents or carers.
Support if you have lost a child due to suicide
See our resources to sites that might help is some small way :
Safety Tips for Suicide Prevention
What Parents Can Do
- Always support your child, listen a lot and get a great relationship going with them. Work from birth on your child's self esteem.
- Watch out for depression, severe mood swings, talk of suicide or death and major behaviour changes
- Make sure they are not socially isolated : if they are then do your best to remedy this quickly.
- Keep an eye out for whether your child is ever bullied or abused. See our article 'SAFETY FROM BULLYING'
- Make sure there is no access to guns or other firearms for children
- Intervene if you spot an immediate danger to life : do not let your child out of your sight and make sure they do not have any weapons on them
What Schools/Teachers Can do
- Organise education classes run by local psychologists or councillors on the subject
- Show support throughout education and build self esteem in all students
- Monitor absence records
- Ensure each child feels able to confide in at least one member of staff
- Identify vulnerable/isolated children and positively find friends from them by giving them tasks with potential other caring children
- Look for signs of depression, mood swings, bullying or abuse and deal with them
- Keep parents/carers involved if something is suspected about a child
- Intervene if you spot an immediate danger to life : do not let the child out of your sight and make sure they do not have any weapons on them
What Friends Can do
- Always treat suicidal comments seriously : never assume they don't really mean it
- Tell a trusted adult
- Persuade your friend to get some professional help
- Make sure you spend as much time with them as possible and show them that they matter and you care
- Try to get them involved in positive things that really make a difference
There are lots of great tips with a biblical theme and links to the relevant verses in the Bible. Some myths about suicide are exposed plus a list of some 'red flags' to indicate suicidal intent.
This is a dedicated non-religious website and is not affiliated to any specific group or organisation. The site has been setup to help answer some of the questions that the people left behind may have.
This is an article covering anger, guilt and regret, questioning, disillusionment and contains ideas to help you to cope. Written by the Compassionate Friends organisation.
The AFSP is a large organisation of scientists, volunteer survivors of suicides, community leaders and more. The goal of the organisation is to work every day to create a world in which people no longer die of suicide and they actively try to influence state and federal policy which can reduce the numbers of suicides. There is a link to various studies funded by the Foundation.