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News & Views - Sep, 1999 Issue #61

Teen Suicide
Reported By Jodi Tuttle, Roving Correspondent

Keith A. King, of The University of Cincinnati, in the April 1999 issue the Journal of School Health, attempts to debunk the many myths about teen suicide by making the following important points, based on his research on adolescent suicide:

1. Adolescent suicide is increasing. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents, ages 15 to 19.

2. Nearly all adolescents who attempt suicide give cues of their intended actions, and when a youngster repeatedly talks about his own death, these cues should be taken seriously.

3. Most suicidal adolescents do not really want to die, but all suicide cues should be taken seriously.

4. Education about suicide does not cause further suicidal behavior.

5. While adolescent females are much more likely to attempt a suicide than males, adolescent males are more likely to complete a suicide attempt than females.

6. Guns are the most frequently used method by which adolescents commit suicide.

7. The majority of adolescents who commit suicide are not mentally ill.

8. All socioeconomic groups are included among adolescents who commit suicide.

9. Rather than seeking a mental health professional, adolescents contemplating suicide are more likely to approach a family member, peer, or school professional for help.

Copyright 1999, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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