Watch4Children   Depression & Suicide: Pay Attention. Listen. Watch.

Depression

The first step toward shifting out of depression is to define it. But people who are depressed often have a hard time thinking clearly or recognizing their own symptoms. They may need your help.

check Check the following boxes if you notice any of the following symptoms persisting longer than two weeks.

□ Sadness or “emptiness”
□ Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting up
□ Hopelessness, pessimism, or guilt
□ Appetite problems, losing or gaining weight
□ Helplessness or worthlessness
□ Headaches, stomachaches, or backaches
□ Unable to make decisions
□ Chronic aches and pains in joints and muscles
□ Unable to concentrate and remember
□ Restless or more irritable than usual
□ Lost interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
□ Wanting to be alone most of the time
□ Loss of energy and drive – so they seem “slowed down”
□ Increasing problems with school and family
□ Drinking heavily or taking drugs
□ They’ve started cutting classes or dropped
□ Talking about or preoccupation with death or suicide

It has been estimated that three to six million children suffer from depression – much of it unrecognized and untreated.

Depressive symptoms are significantly higher in youth using alcohol and other drugs. Depressed youth had 30-day alcohol use rates that were 17.5% higher, 30-day marijuana use rates that were 17.8% higher, and 30-day cigarette use rates that were 23.2% higher than the non-depressed group. (2012 PNA data, p. 58)

Unfortunately, it often takes a child’s suicidal attempt for the problem to surface.

Teachers often prove better able to detect depression in adolescents than do their parents. Let them know if they notice your son or daughter is depressed or seems to be contemplating suicide, that you want them to ACT, not wait to see if your child feels better the next day.

Learn more about youth depression from NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Health
Watch, The Science of Depression

Suicide

Montana has a one of the highest rates of suicide in the nation.

check The 2013 Youth Behavior Risk Survey found that 7.9% of 10-12 graders had attempted suicide in the past 12 months
check Most youth suicide attempts take place at home in the late afternoon or evening
check Your child’s teacher may be the last adult the student interacts with before a suicide attempt

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youths aged 15 to 24

check Many accidents, including single-car crashes, may be unreported suicides
check Forty percent of teenagers who attempt suicide are drug/alcohol abusers
check Two-thirds of suicidal youths report poor relationships with their parents
check Ninety percent say their parent’s don’t understand them
check Boys are more likely than girls to die from suicide
check Other risk factors (Center For Disease Control & Prevention)

Again, teachers often prove better able to detect depression in adolescents than do their parents. Let them know if they notice your son or daughter is depressed or seems to be contemplating suicide, that you want them to ACT, not wait to see if your child feels better the next day.


For families and communities of the 5,000 children who kill themselves each year, the problem surfaces too late.  If your son, daughter or student threatens suicide, Take it Seriously!


Learn more about Youth Suicide Prevention

Our parenting resource guide: Definitions of Terms Used | Parenting Resource Guide | Safe & Legal Teenage Parties | Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse | Ages and Stages of Adolescent Drug Use 
Sexual Assault and Bullying | Depression and Suicide | Return to Adolescent Resource Center Parenting Page