How to Tackle Suicidal Behavior Among the Youth?
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Suicidal Behavior Among Youth in School and Colleges

Published on Jan 06, 2023 and last reviewed on Jan 24, 2023   -  4 min read


Suicide is the second leading cause of death in high school and college, starting from 14 to 18 years of youngers.


Youth suicide is when a young person is generally categorized as someone below the legal age of majority, especially school and college students, tend to end their life due to some particular reason. Youth suicide attempt rates in western societies and other countries are high and are more common among girls, but adolescent males are the ones who usually carry out suicide. Suicide rates among youth have nearly risen to their highest point, and generally, the reasons are related to family pressure to study, love affairs, drug abuse, and many more. Parents should always be focused on the activity of their children at home, school, and college, along with any emotional damage they are going through.

The term "adolescents" is used by the World Health Organization to refer to people between the ages of ten and 19. India currently has one of the largest populations of teenagers worldwide. The future of India will be shaped by this generation. Addressing the health and developmental needs of its teenagers is one of the most significant commitments a nation can provide for its future prosperity and stability in the fields of economics, society, and politics.

What Makes Teens Prone to Suicide?

Many youngsters who attempt or die by suicide have mental health conditions. They are not able to handle the pressure of studies, families, societies, and breakups, which provoke them. Besides the reasons for attempting suicide, family plays a major role because if they notice every activity of their child, they might be able to change the suicidal behavior of their child. The youngsters might also not be able to see that they can turn their lives around and that suicide is a permanent response, not a solution, to a temporary problem.

What Are the Risk Factors for Youngster’s Suicide?

Youngsters in school and college might feel suicidal due to certain circumstances in life, and they are:

  • If they have a psychiatric disorder such as depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or any mental illness.

  • It can also be related to a family history of mood disorder, suicide, or suicidal behavior.

  • If a child has a history of physical or sexual abuse or exposure to violence or bullying by the parents or society.

  • Drug abuse disorder.

  • Children have a long history of taking antidepressants, sedatives, and long-term medications.

  • If any suicidal activity is done by any family member or friends.

  • Conflict with family members and friends.

  • Mental and physical changes when puberty hits, excitement, and aggression take place.

  • Many youngsters with different tastes, like bisexual behavior, get exposed.

  • Adopted children who always felt ignorant by their parents.

  • Children who have survived a previous suicidal attempt are also at the highest risk.

  • Generally, suicide attempts are more common in school and college youth.

What Are the Measures to Observe if a Teen Is Suicidal?

If a teen is noticed to involve in suicidal activity, please call the local emergency number or a suicide number, as there are several help care numbers, such as the National suicide prevention number situated in the U.S. If a parent suspects their child is thinking of suicide, they should speak to him or her in detail immediately and try to find out the reason and make sure to resolve the problem faced by their child. They should advise their child to discuss his or her feelings and reassure their child, and remind him or her that both of them will work together through whatever is going on. Also, parents who notice suicidal tendencies in their children must consult a psychiatrist or psychologist experienced in diagnosing and treating youth with mental health problems.

How to Prevent Teen and Youth Suicide?

There are various steps involved to protect the teen and youth, for example:

  • Talk About Mental Health and Suicide: If parents notice suicidal tendencies in their children, they should not wait for the teens to approach them. If the child is sad, anxious, depressed, or appears to be struggling, ask them what is wrong and offer support.

  • Pay Attention: If the child is thinking about suicide, he or she will generally display warning signs. Listen to the words and watch the activity of the child but always find the difference between emotional damage suicide and false suicidal threats by the child.

  • Discourage Isolation: Encourage the child to spend time with supportive friends and family, play outdoor games, and try to make them outgoing and socially confident person.

  • Social Media Influencer: Today's youth are prone to social media usage, which has a bad impact on their mind, so the parents need to be updated. Social media is very helpful for teens, but it can also expose them to bullying, spreading rumors, unrealistic views of other people’s lives, and peer pressure. If the youngster is hurt or upset by social media posts or messages, encourage them to talk to the parents or a trusted teacher and get connected with them.

  • Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle: Teach the child to adapt to a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, doing regular exercise, and being active in extracurricular activities.

  • Support the Treatment Plan: If the child has a suicidal tendency and is getting treated by the doctor for the same, teach him or her to follow the instructions recommended by the doctor. Also, teach them to participate in activities that will help them to rebuild confidence.

  • Monitor Medication: Although antidepressant intake is not considered very fruitful, especially at the starting dose of the first week, an antidepressant is more likely to reduce suicide risk in the long run by improving mood.

  • Always make sure that the child is not getting addicted to some drug, alcohol, or smoking habit.


Adolescent students' suicidal behavior is a serious problem since it results in the terrible loss of crucial years of life. Studying the frequency and correlates of such activities are both important. Always pay attention to every activity of a child from his teenage. Parents must make the children comfortable to share their emotions by showering love on them. Facilitate them with a healthy lifestyle, including discipline, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and so on. Few measures can help the child to stay away from bad thoughts and get suicidal.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Can Be the Reason for Suicidal Tendency Among Indian Youth?

Various factors can act as triggers for suicide among youth in India. The following may be some of them: 
- Discrimination and bullying. 
- Substance abuse. 
- Sexual abuse. 
- Physical abuse. 
- Feeling lonely. 
- Emotional dependency. 


What Can Act as Contributing Factors for Suicidal Tendency in Youth?

The following can act as contributing factors to suicidal tendencies in youth:
- Mental instabilities such as depression, anxiety, and stress. 
- Physical or emotional abuse.
- Previous history of suicide attempts.
- Substance abuse. 
- Discrimination and bullying. 


What Are the Three Factors in the Cognitive Model of Suicide?

Wenzel and Beck put forth the cognitive model of suicide in 2008. This theory suggests that suicide initiation happens due to three factors. The three factors in the cognitive model of suicide include: 
- Dispositional factor. 
- Cognitive process. 
- Maladaptive cognitive process. 


What Are a Few Warning Signs of Suicide?

The following are some of the warning signs of suicide:
- Searching for ways to kill oneself. 
- The feeling of being a burden.
- Talking about death and wanting to end one’s life. 
- Talking or feeling hopeless.
- Change in general behavior. 
- Altered sleep patterns. 
- Substance abuse. 


What Factors Can Have an Impact on the Mental Health of a Person?

The following factors can have an impact on a person's mental health: 
- Stress, depression, and anxiety 
- Childhood abuse and trauma 
- Discrimination and bullying 
- Physical ailments. 
- Loosing near and dear ones 
- Post-traumatic effects. 
- Sexual abuse. 


What Is the Four P’s Model?

The four Ps is a study model used in psychiatry and psychology. This model is useful in analyzing the patient's behavior and the cause of distress. 
The four P’s in this model include: 
- Precipitating. 
- Perpetuating.
- Protective factors. 
- Predisposing factors. 


What Is the Reason for Mental Health Issues Among College Students?

The following may be the reason for mental health issues among college students:
- Academic pressure. 
- Peer pressure. 
- Career pressure. 
- Alcohol and drug dependency. 
- Bullying and ragging among students. 


Can Mental Illness Have Genetic Determination?

Mental illness can have both genetic and environmental determinants.

Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
24 Jan 2023  -  4 min read




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