Working together
to prevent teen suicide

Each day in the US, more than 5400 young people in grades 7-12 attempt suicide; it’s the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. Many factors contribute to the epidemic of teen suicide.

Research shows teen social media use increases rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

The CDC says that four out of five teenagers who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

Kids who are bullied are more than twice as likely to consider suicide, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Social Media Minefield

Social media can expose teenagers to serious risks and dangers. One of the most common risks is cyberbullying. Teens may experience harassment, humiliation, and even threats from their peers online. This can have severe consequences on their mental health and well-being.

Social media can also expose teens to inappropriate content, such as explicit images or violent videos. This can negatively impact their emotional development and expose them to harmful influences. 

Watch for the Warning Signs of Suicide

We all must be able to recognize the warning signs of suicidal behavior in order to intervene and provide support. It is important to take any mention of suicide seriously and seek help immediately. Teens who are at risk for suicide exhibit warning signs:

  • Changes in sleep, appetite, or energy, withdrawal from friends and family, loss of interest in activities, or engaging in risky behaviors
  • Statements such as “I wish I wasn’t here anymore” or “Everyone would be better off without me.”
  • Recent loss or trauma, a history of previous suicide attempts, or access to lethal means.  Click here to learn more. (Link to Preventing Teen Suicide blog article)

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

If your child is bullied or verbally abused, it means that one or more of their school peers are purposefully causing them harm.  Kids are bullied because of their weight, skin color, abilities,  accents, or family issues known in school. Bullying can also spread rumors about the child, leaving them out of group activities or breaking up their friendships, name-calling, and so on.

The bullied child feels mentally tortured and cornered by their peers. If the child is not helped, they can withdraw or explode when the breaking point is reached.  

Drugs, Alcohol, & Addiction

One of the most critical topics to talk to teenagers about is drugs and alcohol. Teens require structure to stay safe. Having clear drug and alcohol policies can be beneficial. Studies show that children, who have clear rules, even if they are broken, are less likely to get into serious trouble than children who do not.

Having the “Drug & Alcohol Talk” with your teen is not easy. And, it must not be a single “big talk.” The sooner you start talking to them about drugs regularly – and in small doses – the more at ease both of you will be. Your parenting style and how you communicate with your teens heavily influences their decision to try alcohol and drugs or not.  

Exam/Test Anxiety

Performance Anxiety, which some people experience when their performance is under pressure, includes Exam Anxiety. Exam Anxiety might cause “butterflies,” a stomachache, or a headache, similar to other occasions where a person could have performance anxiety. While they wait for the exam to be given, some students may feel jittery, overheated, or as though their heart is beating rapidly. A student experiencing extreme test anxiety may even feel like they are about to faint or vomit.

Overcoming Test Anxiety requires time and effort, but dealing with Test Anxiety will teach your teen how to control stress, which can be invaluable in many life situations. 

Self Harm

There is mounting evidence that self-harm is on the increase among teenage girls and young adult women. The proportion of 16- to 24-year-old females who say they have self-harmed rose from 6.5% to 19.7% since 2000.

Self-harm is the intentional infliction of physical harm on one’s own body. It can include cutting, burning, biting oneself, scratching, hair pulling, and other forms of intentional injury.  It is an unhealthy coping mechanism used to manage overwhelming emotions or feelings such as anxiety, depression or anger. It’s important to stay connected with your daughters by expressing love and concern while also setting healthy boundaries with expectations regarding their safety. 

Self Love

Self-love is often neglected as an aspect of personal development, especially for teenagers. Self-love means having a positive regard for oneself and treating oneself with kindness, compassion, and respect. It lays the foundation for overall well-being and success in life.

Teenagers with low self-esteem may struggle with academic performance, social interactions, and decision-making. They may also be more susceptible to peer pressure and engage in risky behaviors. Therefore, it is crucial for teenagers to cultivate self-love in order to thrive during this transformative period of their lives.    

Young Lions Self Love Conference

Picture-1.png

The Young Lions Youth Organization recognizes the importance of self-love for teenagers, hosting an annual day-long conference for Tampa’s inner-city youth every October. The day’s program includes practical tips and tricks for practicing self-love in various aspects of their lives. Topics for discussion include:

  • Decisions and Consequences: Life is a Series of Hard Choices
  • Hygiene, Grooming, Wardrobe
  • Financial Literacy for Youth
  • College Preparation and Paperwork
  • Finding Your Career Path
  • Watch Young Lions website and Facebook for an announcement about the 2024 event.

Car Credit is Part of the Solution

By addressing root causes and providing effective support systems, The Young Lions empowers teens to navigate the challenges of this transitional time in their lives and embrace their futures with hope.

 Steve Cuculich, owner of Car Credit, is proud to support the work of The Young Lions. “What could possibly be more important than preserving young lives full of potential and promise,” says Cuculich.  “We want to ensure that our youth can grow up in environments that support their mental health and well-being.”  

Car Credit (www.carcredittampa.com) and Nuevo en US (www.nuevoenus.org) are proud to support the work of The Young Lions – helping people along the Road to the American Dream.