Running head: CHILD AND TEEN 1 Child and Teen Suicide Intervention and Prevention: School Based Interventions Kaitlyn O'Connor University of Holy Cross Suicide, according to Edwin Shneidman (as cited in James & Gilliland, 2013, p. 209), is a conscious act by an individual for self-inflicted annihilation due to unendurable psychological pain caused by unfulfilled psychological needs. While the number of suicides and suicide attempts is underreported, it is estimated that every year about one million people commit suicide worldwide with an estimated 30,000 to35,000 Americans committing suicide every year (James & Gilliland, 2013). According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP, 2015), suicide is the 10 th leading cause of death in the United States. In 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10-24 (Center for Disease Control [CDC], 2014). The annual report from America’s Health Rankings (2015) stated that suicide is an issue that impacts everyone regardless of age, race, or ethnicity. In the United States, the annual age- adjusted suicide rate is about 13 per 100,000, a 24% increase since 1999 (CDC, 2014). Risk factors and indications for individuals with suicidal ideation include gender, age, mental and physical well-being, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Middle aged, white men account for the highest rate of suicide in the United States, with men being four times more likely to commit suicide than women; however, women are three times more likely to attempt suicide (CDC, 2014; James & Gilliland, 2013). White men account for 7 out of 10 suicides across all age groups, and those with mental health disorders and/or substance abuse are at an increased risk for suicidal behavior (America’s Health Ranking, 2015). Recently, the suicide rate among children and adolescents has increased (James & Gilliland, 2013). Approximately 23%of deaths for individuals aged 15- 24 years is caused by suicide (Balaguru, Sharma, & Waheed, 2013). According to the CDC (2015), suicide was the
CHILD AND TEEN 2 third leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14 years old and the second leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 15 and 34. In 2012, the Center for Disease Control reported that the three most common causes of suicide for persons aged 10 to 24 years of age were firearms, suffocation (including hanging), and poisoning (including drug overdose); however, deaths involving firearms and poisoning have decreased while suicides involving suffocation have increased between 1999 and 2014 (Sullivan, Annest, Simon, Lou, & Dahlberg, 2015). Research by Sullivan et al. (2015) suggested that the greatest mortality from suicide rate increase was among women aged 10 to 24 years. With the increased number of school aged children attempting and committing suicide, counselors have searched for appropriate interventions to address the significant public health concern for adolescent suicide (Fineran, 2012). Suicide, especially adolescent suicide, has become a public health issue that impacts family and friends of the victim. In 1999, the Surgeon
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