September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month, and for the first time ever, suicide has surpassed homicide as a leading cause of death for young people in America.

This, of course, has pediatricians and mental health experts sounding the alarm. Parents, teachers and healthcare providers are urged to recognize the warning for signs in children and teens who may be suffering in silence.

Parkland Health has identified 13 common warning signs of potential suicide risk in adolescents.

• Threats or comments about killing themselves, also known as suicidal ideation, as well as preoccupation with death in conversation, writing or drawing

• Increased alcohol and drug use

• Aggressive or hostile behavior

• Social withdrawal from friends, family, school activities and the community

• Dramatic mood swings or personality change, such as from upbeat to quiet

• Giving away belongings

• Impulsive or reckless behavior

• Feeling excessively sad or low

• Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning

• Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy

• Changes in school performance

• Running away from home

• An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance or neglecting personal appearance


If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273 TALK (8255)

Crisis Text Line: 741741

24-hour sexual assault and domestic violence crisis hotline from Parkland’s Victim Intervention Program/Rape Crisis Center: 214-590-0430