New Information Leads To Changes In Suicide Prevention In Teens

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Suicide in teens has always been a major topic in the mental health field, but previous beliefs that a lack of access led to many of the suicides is being challenged by new research. As Benedict Carey of the New York Times writes, “55 percent of suicidal teenagers had received some therapy before they thought about suicide, planned it or tried to kill themselves.”

The statistics are staggering: 1 in 8 teenagers have persistent suicidal thoughts at some point; about a third of those make a suicide attempt within a year of having those thoughts. The causes are anything from depression, to ADHD, eating disorders or substance abuse.

So, how can the mental health community learn from these new findings? It’s not necessarily starting over for treatment of suicidal teens, but rather adding on. Treating depression is only part of the battle. In addition, therapy should include treatment for behavior issues as well as mood disorders. Also, putting patients in control of their own medication can lead to tragedy. In these circumstances, family members and therapists must find a way to control vital aspects of a patient’s life without taking away independence.

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