STARS logo


We need to talk about suicide.


 Did you know that Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for youth ages 10-24?

Source: 2015 CDC WISQARS

More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.

“Each day in our nation, there are over 5,000 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12.”
Source: The Jason Foundation

These staggering statistics emphasize the importance of talking to your teenagers about suicide.
Know the warning signs and how to have conversations with your teens.

“Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.”
Source: The Jason Foundation

Warning Signs:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

Source: Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

If your child is exhibiting any of the warning signs, it is important to talk to them and point out the behaviors in a non-judgmental way. Do not be afraid to ask, “Are you thinking about killing yourself?”

If Suicidal Ideation is Present:

  • Options for getting a suicidal assessment:
    • Go to your nearest Emergency Room
    • Go to a mental health treatment center
    • Call Mobile Crisis Services:
      • Youth Villages (866-791-9222)

Important Information for the Home if suicide ideation is present or has been in the past:

  • Remove all sharp objects (knives, scissors, and razors etc.)
    • You may also lock them up instead of removing them if your teenager cannot access them.
  • The suicidal teenager should not be left alone for any reason.

If Suicidal Ideation is Not Present but has been in the Past:

  • Encourage your teenager to talk to a counselor.
  • To find a counselor:
    • The counselors at school, the school social worker, or your pediatrician can give you names of counselors that fit your teenager’s signs and symptoms.

Hotline Numbers to Keep in Mind:

    • Crisis CALL Lines:
      • National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
      • TN Statewide Crisis Line: 855-274-7471
      • Vanderbilt Crisis Line: 615-327-7000
    • Crisis TEXT Lines:
      • Text START to 741-741
      • Centerstone Crisis Text Line: 844-899-TEXT (8398)

Donate Now

Stay Connected. Follow Our Social Media Channels Below.

Twitter. Facebook. Youtube.

STARS is deeply committed to creating a culture and work space that centers on the power of relationships, that values diversity of perspective and experience, and that honors the dignity, worth, and contributions of all.