Suicidality in Children

Tragically, children of all ages have been shown to exhibit suicidal ideation and behaviors. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 10-14. Although not direct indicators of risk, warning signs in children can include: making suicidal statements, preoccupation with death or dying, giving away belongings, withdrawal from friends or family, or aggressive or hostile behavior.

Effective treatment of suicidal behavior in children involves a careful, age-appropriate risk assessment, psychoeducation for the child and family, safety planning, and skills-oriented, family-based intervention. Evidence based methods include: Dialectical Behavior Therapy adapted for Children (DBT-C), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), family therapy, and group therapy.