Learn the warning signs of teen suicide

Forest Grover 8th-grader took his own life Tuesday night

Inside the Lines for Life office in Portland, Dec. 3, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Inside the Lines for Life office in Portland, Dec. 3, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Counselors were ready to help students at a Forest Grove middle school after an 8th-grader took his own life Tuesday night.

Mental health professionals with Lines for Life spoke with KOIN 6 News about what signs may be visible in your teen. It’s not always easy to spot.

Lines for Life youthline coordinator Emily Moser, Dec. 3, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Lines for Life youthline coordinator Emily Moser, Dec. 3, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Common teenage behavior and suicide warning signs can be similar. For example, there can be behavioral problems, withdrawing from family and friends, neglecting hygiene and sleep changes.

“If you know what their typical patterns are, if you know what they’re like, then you can understand the differences between your child is just having a bad day or something that continues to progress over the course of time,” said Line for Life youthline coordinator Emily Moser.

There are also risk factors for suicide, including previous suicide attempts, talking about death and depression.

It’s typically a combination of things that can reach a breaking point.

“The loss of a loved one, a divorce, something at school, a breakup, bullying – all those things combined typically create the perfect storm for feeling hopeless enough that you would want to take your own life,” Moser said.

If you’re concerned someone is considering suicide, experts said you should ask about it.

“What we see amongst the teenage population and adult population is that somebody will tell you, ‘Yes, I am, I really am thinking about it,'” said Moser. “When you do ask the question you’re in the position to get the help and resources to this person that needs them.”

Support and Help information

Lifeline 1.800.273.8255

Lines for Life

Youth Line

Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Warning Signs

Articles on Teen Suicide

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