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Preventing suicide is increasingly becoming crucial as the incidence of mental health issues among teenagers continues to surge. Parents are always looking to know what is happening with their children to establish if they are suicidal, but research indicates that might not be the case.

Parents are unaware that their teenagers may consider suicide more often

A study that interviewed 5,000 teenagers some years ago established that 50% of parents were unaware that their children considered suicide. In contrast, 75% of parents didn’t know that their adolescent children often thought of death.

As studies reveal increased mental health issues among young people, this disconnection becomes more significant. For example, the 2021 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey discloses that 42% of high schoolers experienced continual emotions of sadness and despair, with 22% having contemplated suicide and 10% having made attempts to end their lives.

The statistics were more alarming for females and youths who identify as LGBTQ+. Close to 60% of ladies experienced persistent hopelessness and sadness, with 30% seriously considering suicide while 13% attempted suicide. Of LGBTQ teenagers, 70% had feelings of sadness and despair, while 45% considered suicide and 22% actually attempted it.

This issue has several reasons, and the pandemic’s consequential stress and isolation are prominent factors. Despite schools reopening, many teenagers are struggling with readjustment. Additionally, social media usage is a significant contributor as it often promotes unattainable standards, reinforces harmful beliefs and behaviors, and encourages excessive consumption of negative content.

Why is there a disconnect between teens and parents

It is common for parents to be unaware that their teenagers are considering suicide. Teenagers may not be aware of the seriousness of their emotional state and may be reluctant to share their feelings with their parents for fear of worrying them.

Additionally, parents may misinterpret signs of depression or attribute them to something innocent because they want to believe their child is okay. Given the drama that can be part of a teenager’s life, parents may mistakenly view statements about death or dying as typical teenage drama.