Suicidal Thoughts In Children & Teens

Tamara Hill, MS, LPC
Licensed Child & Adolescent Therapist
Certified Trauma Therapist

Suicidal thoughts often occur, in children and teens, more than we think they do. Sadly, many adults are unaware of these thoughts and may be under the assumptom that their child or adolescent would never consider suicide as an option to cope with strong emotions or great challenges.

Do you know a child or adolescent who is struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition? If so, it is important to understand that depression, anxiety, and many other mental health conditions can often lead children or teens to consider suicide.

This article will briefly review my upcoming webinar focused on providing education on child and adolescent suicide.


What comes to mind when you think of children and adolescents who may be considering suicide?

I’m sure you are thinking about at risk or unsupported teens who are struggling in school with grades or building relationships. You may also be thinking of a child or teen who’s family dynamic is complex, emotionally un-supportive, or chaotic. Sadly, this is not always a typical picture of the lives of children and teens who are considering suicide as a remedy to their pain. In fact, many kids and teens from very loving, supportive, and emotionally stable households and families find themselves considering suicide. Suicide is not a phenomenon that ONLY occurs among a certain group of kids and teens. Suicidal thinking can occur in anyone despite race, age, social economic status, culture, ethnicity, level of education, ability, etc. Suicidal thoughts are more common than most people realize.

Why do people consider suicide?

In one of my private practice’s I see adults who are struggling with grief, loss, anxiety, or trauma and many of these clients have had fleeting suicidal thoughts. My goal in each of my sessions is normalizing their emotions and thoughts and validating them. The truth of the matter is that suicidal thinking is often another form of “problem-solving” and attempting to escape difficult situations or feelings. For some people, escape or problem-solving may include substance abuse, overeating, under-eating, chronic exercise, increased sex drive or desire, etc. For other people, problem-solving may include suicidal thinking. We all have different ways we think of coping and sadly, some people rely on the wrong things to cope. Suicidal thinking may be considered negative coping. My job is to ensure my client recognizes that there are better options.

What is your webinar about?

I was asked to present a webinar for a wonderful website (full of resources for teachers, parents, and other types of educators), this past January, on the signs and symptoms of suicidal thoughts in youth. I was honored to have been asked to provide this valuable information.

Why are you focusing so much on suicide this year?

Sadly, since the beginning of 2017, I have had multiple clients enter my office with increased levels of anxiety and depression coupled with suicidal thoughts. Interestingly, while we’re thinking our children and teens don’t notice challenges in our world today, they do.

I strongly believe that our kids are not only suffering from the stress associated with going to school, maintaining positive grades, facing bullying or assault, and being a kid, but also the state of our country and the increased anxiety associated with our new leader’s style of leading the country. Many mature kids and teens that see me for therapy have discussed feeling unsure about their future, losing their family and friend relationships over the results of the election, and feeling ousted by people who support our current leader.  Sadly, these things have caused so much stress that many of my young clients report feeling suicidal.


How do I register for the upcoming webinar?

If you have questions or comments, please consider typing them below in the comment box or sending me an audio message on the front page, at the bottom of my site.

Stay tuned for my upcoming webinar on children, suicide, and its links to trauma beginning:

  • June 15th at 10:00am and ending
  • June 22, 2017 at 10:30am.

Please register by navigating to the front page of this site.