Kids in Crisis Warning Signs

Suicide Warning Signs in Children

The tragedy of children taking their own lives happens all too many times in our state. In fact, the suicide rate for Wisconsin kids, age 10 to 17, is nearly a third higher than the national average.

Here are several changes in behaviors that are warning signs for suicide:

• A drop in grades or school performance
• Neglecting personal appearance and responsibilities
• Talking about or feeling anxious, sad, hopeless, bored, worried or overwhelmed
• Feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt or self-hatred
• Feeling like things will never get better or nothing will ever change
• Loss of concentration in school, work or routine tasks
• Outbursts, severe anger or irritability
• Getting in trouble, being aggressive or rebellious
• Running away from home or making threats to run away
• Withdrawing from friends or family
• Changing friends
• Eating less, severe dieting, or eating more
• Sleeping less or sleeping more
• Losing interest in activities
• Drinking alcohol or using drugs
• Talking or writing about suicide or death
• Cutting oneself
• Any suicidal behavior, such as taking a small amount of pills

Parents, other relatives, teachers, friends and classmates all need to be aware of these warning signs.

Listen. Be understanding. Show support. Don’t be afraid to get involved. Head off the problem by calling us. The problems are treatable.

Sources:
healthychildren.org American Academy of Pediatrics
American Psychological Association