Adolescents may feel many different emotions as they start to go through puberty. Because their bodies are starting to become more developed and their hormones may be changing, puberty can be a difficult time for the teen and their families. Not only that, but as teens start high school, bullying becomes one of the issues that some may have to deal with. There are many different things that can lead to depression in the adolescent’s life, so it is important to help them through the difficult time to prevent suicide. Suicide amongst teens is an ongoing problem that many families and friends of the individual may have to go through. It is the “3rd leading cause [of death] among those ages 15-24 years” (Jarvis, 2015). Some signs and symptoms that may be seen in those who are having suicidal thoughts are “prior suicide attempts, depression, hopelessness, firearms in the home, family history of suicide, family violence, self-mutilation, anorexia, verbal suicide messages, death themes in art, jokes, writing, behaviors, [and] saying goodbye (giving away prized possessions),” according to Jarvis (2015). It is important as nurses to assess for these behaviors and also perform the suicide assessment tool. Now according to the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) (2015), “primary prevention aims to prevent disease or injury before it ever occurs.” With suicide, this means that interventions should be performed to assess for the risk of suicide and to remove any harmful items within the individual’s environment. If something already happened, then secondary prevention would need to take place. To do this, the nurse may help with family and friends of the individual who committed suicide, to offer resources to the family and friends and help wherever. If the suicide hasn’t taken place, the nurse should continue to assess for suicidal thoughts and regularly screen them. Tertiary can be done with education of the population of teens and providing resources. In the Los Angeles (LA) County there are many hotlines that are available as resources for those debating on suicide. While the state of California offers the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. An organization is NAMI California. This organization “is a grassroots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness” (NAMI, n.d.).
County of Los Angeles Public Health. (n.d.). Suicide-Hotlines. Retrieved from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/injury_topics/Suicide/suicide_hotlines.htm
Jarvis, C. (2015). Physical Examination and Health Assessment. Retrieved from https://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/9781455728107/cfi/6/2!/4/[email protected]:0.00
NAMI California. (n.d.). Mission. Retrieved from http://namica.org/about-us/nami-california-mission/