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How You Can Improve Teen Safety and Well-Being

Warning Signs

  1. Suicide threats: Teens say that they think about or want to commit suicide
  2. Previous Attempts: Teens have tried to kill themselves before or hurt themselves on purpose
  3. Depression: Teens feel sad or easily annoyed, have trouble paying attention to schoolwork, or avoid friends and family
  4. Unusual behavior: Sudden changes in how they look, think, or act
  5. Final arrangements: Teens give away belongings, visit friends to say goodbye, or talk about funeral plans

Family and Friends are important in suicide prevention

Suicide prevention programs that work involve all parts of a teen's life: home, school, and the entire community. You have a unique chance to help teens at home. This page will teach you how to identify suicide warning signs in your child or your child's friends. It will also teach you how to get them the help they need.

You can prevent suicide by:

  •  Becoming AWARE of the seriousness of suicide
  •  Learning the WARNING SIGNS

  •  Taking steps to GET HELP


What you can do -
Follow the "LIFE" model

Four simple letters will remind you how you can help teens who may be thinking about hurting themselves:

isten: Let them talk openly about how they feel. Try not to give advice. Avoid acting shocked or angry.
Do not make them feel guilty. Do not minimize or take their problems too lightly.


nsist on honesty: Talk honestly with them about how serious their thoughts and feelings are.
Never promise to keep what they tell you a secret.


Tell them that you care and that you want to know how they feel.


xtend a helping hand: Let them know that they are not alone and that you are there to help.
DO NOT leave a suicidal teen alone. Be willing to seek professional help and guidance.
For example, contact a doctor, school counselor, psychologist, teacher, or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).


Common myths about suicide

  • FALSE. People who talk about or threaten suicide rarely attempt suicide.
  • FALSE. If you talk to teens about their suicidal thoughts, this will cause them to commit suicide.
  • FALSE. It is OK to keep others' suicidal thoughts a secret if they ask.


  • Suicide is the THIRD leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds nationwide.
  • 17% of U.S. high school students report serious thoughts of suicide.
  • Among youth between the ages of 15 and 24, New Mexico has the third highest suicide rate in the nation.
  • Suicide is the number one preventable cause of death.

Suicide Prevention Resources

The Jason Foundation, Inc.
A non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of suicide

National Suicide
Prevention Lifeline:

English: 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255)
en Español: 1 (888) 628-9454

New Mexico
Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1 (505) 277-3013

Suicide Prevention
Resource Center:

Southwest Family Guidance
Center & Institute:

1 (505) 830-1871

American Association
of Suicidology:

American Foundation
for Suicide Prevention:

1 (888) 333-AFSP



Help for Depression
Provides a very comprehensive explanation of the various approaches and treatments for depression as a critical starting point for individuals and/or their loved ones.
For more information, visit:

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