Suicide is a major public health problem. It affects people of all ages. Youth, in particular, have a disturbingly high suicide rate. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 (1). Approximately 4600 young people die each year from a suicide attempt (1). The most common methods used in suicides are firearms (45%), suffocation (which may be in the form of hanging) (40%), and poisoning (8%) (1). However, more young people survive suicide attempts than actually die from the attempt. A national survey of youth in both private and public schools, grades 9-12, found that 16% of students reported considering suicide (1). Thirteen percent reported having a plan for suicide, and 8% had a suicide attempt within the last 12 months preceding the survey (1). Suicide is not a comfortable topic. We have found that the more we talk about suicide, and research suicide, the more we can do to help prevent it. By opening up conversations about suicide, we aid in the prevention process and keep more of our young people alive.

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Published in Dynamics of Human Health, v. 1, no. 4.

Per publisher: "You can use articles and share them with others, with appropriate credit, but you can’t use the articles commercially or change them in any way."

Reprinted as a book chapter in Youth Suicide Prevention: Everybody’s Business. Hatim A. Omar, (Ed.). p. 151-155.

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