Does your teenager seem depressed? If so, listen up.
According to a new national study, 1 in 25 U.S. teens has attempted suicide, and 1 in eight has thought about it.
Reuters.com reports on the study, which was conducted by Harvard University.
The results are based on in-person interviews of 6,500 teenagers in the U.S., as well as questionnaires filled out by their parents.
In addition to asking the young people about their suicidal thoughts or attempts, interviewers also determined which teens fit the bill for a range of mental disorders.
Just over 12 percent of the youth had thought about suicide, and 8 percent had made a suicide plan or actually attempted suicide.
The researchers found that almost all teens who thought about or attempted suicide had a diagnosable mental disorder, including depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, or problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Dr. Matthew Nock, the psychologist who led the study, says doctors need to get better at figuring out which kids are most at risk of putting themselves in danger.
Once those youth are identified, researchers will also have to determine the best way to treat them.
If your teen seems depressed, reports feelings of hopelessness, talks about death, or starts giving away prized possessions, consult a mental health professional immediately.
For more information on teen depression and suicide, visit the American Psychological Associations website at apa.org.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.