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Children and adolescents living with mental illness face great adversity. Approximately one out of every five children in the United States has a diagnosable mental health disorder. If left untreated, these disorders could potentially lead to suicide, substance use, the inability to live independently, involvement with the justice system, dropping out of school, economic hardship, and physical health problems.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and KentuckyOne Health and Our Lady of Peace are committed to helping parents and caregivers recognize the signs of mental illness in our youth and empower them to seek help.
While depression and suicide often coincide, not everyone who is depressed attempts suicide, and not everyone who attempts suicide is depressed. It’s important for parents, teachers, or anyone who spends time with children to be aware of the effects mental illness can have on children and young adults, including the factors that can elevate their level of suicide risk.
The facts are clear. As the second leading cause of death, suicide is a serious health issue among school-age youth. But it is preventable! By following the list below and making suicide prevention a priority, we can help children before they engage in behavior with irreversible consequences.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, get help immediately via 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255), the Crisis Text Line at 741741, the TrevorLifeline at (866) 488-7386, or the TrevorText line at 678678.