Teens, College-Age Youth at High Risk of Suicide, Expert
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although it is often said
that the teen and college years should be the best time in a
person's life, the risk of suicide is high among these young
people, an expert warns.
In the United States, suicide is the second leading cause of
death among people aged 14 to 25 years, according to Maureen
Dasey-Morales, a psychologist from Wichita State University.
Dasey-Morales advised that people who suspect someone they know
is having suicidal thoughts should not hesitate to get
"One of the biggest myths about suicide is that asking somebody if they're thinking about hurting themselves will increase the risk of it happening," she said in a university news release. "And in fact, asking is one of the main things somebody can do to prevent suicide from happening."
Another falsehood is that these at-risk teens and young adults
are weak or selfish, noted Dasey-Morales. "The reality is that most
people who are thinking about hurting themselves feel like others
would be better off without them or that somehow there isn't a way
out for them, and so part of helping them is to instill hope," she
When a young person is contemplating suicide, Dasey-Morales
pointed out, there are a number of red flags others may notice,
- Withdrawal from friends and usual activities
- Mood swings
- Plotting to hurt oneself
- Abusing alcohol and other drugs
- Expressing the wish to die or escape
The most important thing, Dasey-Morales concluded, is that young
people having thoughts of suicide should not struggle alone, and
they should be made aware of the options available to them to get
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention provides more
college students and suicide.
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