The most recent CDC data available from 2017 reports that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people age 10-34. It’s difficult to imagine so many youth dying by suicide at age 10, 11, or 12.
A “survivor of suicide” is defined as someone who has lost a friend or family member to suicide. I have worked in mental health settings for many years. I have worked with two youths that have since died by suicide; there are most likely others that I am unaware of. I am also a survivor of suicide of two individuals in my personal life. I’ve experienced the hurt, the loss, the unanswered questions, and the wonder of what could have prevented the suicide.
The losses I experienced were before current technology and social media. For me, there were no red-flags visible, as I was not physically around them before they ended their lives. With current technology and social media platforms, red-flags are more visible. In the digital age, if an individual sees a concerning post online and notifies someone that can help, then distance is not a limiter in suicide prevention. There have been stories in the news of youth seeing a concerning post and notifying the authorities. Geography and type of relationship are no longer barriers to help.
If you know of someone who is struggling in-person or online, here are some resources for you: