Situations that may increase suicide risks

1. The break-up of a romantic relationship
For an adolescent the loss of such a relationship is traumatic in many cases. His or her world has come crashing down. Behind many a macho exterior or sour grapes attitude is a sensitive and hurting young person. Trite expressions like "Things will get better in time" or "There are other fish in the sea" show no sensitivity for the hurt the young person is feeling and deny that the pain is real.

2. The death of a loved one
The pain of separation by death can be so great that the young person might be driven to join that person in death. Furthermore, the grief process often does not include the young person in the family. Many adults do not consider the possibility that the grief that a young person is experiencing at the death of a close family member is as profound as their own.

3. The death of a pet
Consider the teenager whose only true listener is the dog. The dog is there to listen and to love and to never pass judgment. And if that dog should die?

4. The loss of a job
For many teenagers, "job" means maturity and independence. Take away the job? What happens to the independence?

5. Losing face
Consider the boy who publicly stated he was aiming to be a team captain and didn't make it. Consider the student who wanted to attend a prestigious college but got a rejection instead, and everyone knows it

6. Divorce
The loss of a parent through divorce is more traumatic than is commonly admitted. Many teenagers feel responsible for the break-up of the marriage. The imagined or actual fear of a possible divorce is also tremendously painful for the teenager.


1. School Pressure
The need to achieve high marks, time to accomplish several major assignments simultaneously, involvement in too many extracurricular activities, demands of school sports, college applications.
2. Peer Pressure
The need to find acceptance, group morals, conformity to clothing styles, drugs, alcohol, sex, and bullying to name just few.
3. Parental Pressure
Success, money, the right college, the right friends, good marks, conflict between the need to control and the need to be independent, marital problems between parents, "get a job", clothing, music, the parent who wants to be a "friend", lectures rather than examples.


1. Physical Unattractiveness
Consider the young man who thinks that physically he does not match his peers. Consider the young lady who thinks she's plain and homely. Consider the effect of skin blemishes at debs time.

2. Never the first
Consider the young man or the young lady who always feels like a second choice when it comes to dating or being chosen for anything.

3. Sexuality
Consider the pain and agony of the teenager who is caught between the two worlds of sexuality and who is terrified to speak to anyone about this for fear of ridicule. Consider the young person whose fear of being homosexual is based on a lack of fundamental sexual knowledge.

4. Clothing
Consider the teenager who, influenced by the media blitz and by teenage styles, judges importance or lack thereof by the type of clothes he or she is forced to wear.

5. Physical Disability
Consider the teenager who must not only cope with a physical problem, but also with the unkind remarks and glances of others.

6. Academic Disability
Consider the teenager whose older brother or sister was a "genius" and is constantly reminded of the difference between them.


1. Isolation and loneliness
Many teenagers feel so isolated and alone that they are convinced that there is no one to help them and that no one really cares. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. What matters is that this is how they perceive it, and so they suffer in silent isolation.

2. Without a future and hopelessness
Consider the teenager who instead of looking to the future with expectation is overwhelmed with a sense of hopelessness. All hope in the future has been lost.