Why You Should Talk to Youth about Suicide

The pressure teenagers face on a daily basis is incredibly intense and quite terrifying. Most teens do not have the cognitive development to understand the repercussions of their actions; this is why it is important to talk about this difficult and uncomfortable topic: Suicide.

Sadly, as many as one in five kids I work with have talked about harming themselves or ending their life. We, as adults, need to start talking about all the signs of suicide to create small changes that will have a larger impact on our youth. Some adults might be horrified about the drugs, alcohol, sex, and bullying that actually go on in schools just like in 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. In this new world, bullying can happen to anyone and does not have to be so overt or seen. The weird thing is that we do not realize that there are a ton of teens out there still going to school and participating in after school activities who are extremely depressed. Naked pictures, false rumors, name calling, peer pressure, sexual assault, and scorned friendships can be too much for a teen to process.

Below you can find direct quotes from students we have worked with at Bulldog Solution. These are their words, their pain, and their thoughts.

13 Phrases to Listen for in Youth Who May be Having Suicide Ideations:

  1. Part of me wants to die, parts of me wants to live, and part of me wants to recover.
  2. The tears, the desperate cries for help, but no one seems to hear.
  3. I am so lonely.
  4. I get lost inside my mind. Replaying the painful memories of my childhood.
  5. Sometimes I feel like nobody likes me, nobody wants me, nobody needs me, and nobody cares.
  6. No one cares, they are just pretending.
  7. I am a disappointment to everyone.
  8. There is too much yelling, I just need the quiet.
  9. I am tired of feeling ugly and fat.
  10. I give myself all the pain thinking I deserve it…I am not sure why I do that.
  11. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be happy with myself.
  12. I don’t want to wake up anyone, I don’t want to get out of bed, and I don’t want to disappoint anyone anymore.
  13. Everyday suicide goes higher on my list of options, on how to solve my problems.

I hear the voices of many teens in the work that I do. They feel misunderstood, lonely, scared, alone, saddened, and they are trying to protect us from their own pain. They fear sharing their darkness to their parents and loved ones. They are ashamed and we need to eliminate that shame to be able to help them. If we can reach more of these children and be compassionate, we can save them from the pain. We can save their life.