Facts About Adolescent Suicide

“A child born today will live to be about 80 years old, on average. But the challenge is getting them through 16, 17, 18, 19 – the most hazardous time of their lives. A kid with a car, a kid with a gun, a kid with a bottle – any one of these combinations is much more of a risk than a terror attack or a flu from [overseas].”Timothy Egan, NY Times, 6/09/14 OpEd, P. A15

FACTS ABOUT ADOLESCENT SUICIDE Annually: - 19% of high school students seriously consider suicide (1 in 5). - 8.8% attempt suicide. This adds up to 1 million teens, of whom 700,000 require medical attention. - Up to 11% of teen suicide attempters will eventually die by suicide. (Diekstra, 1989; Shaffer et at., 1988) - In a typical US high school classroom, two girls and one boy will make a suicide attempt this year. - Between 31-50% of all adolescent suicide attempters re-attempts suicide (Shaffer & Piacentini, 1994) - 27% (males) and 21% (females) of adolescent suicide attempters re-attempt within 3 months of their first attempt (Lewinsohn et al., 1996). - The risk of suicide increases significantly as an adolescent accumulates more problem behaviors (violent behavior, substance use/abuse, self-injury, risky sex, etc.)

WHAT IS THE ANSWER? Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is designed to treat patients who are struggling with multiple problem behaviors that make them at high risk for suicide.

In initial studies DBT with Adolescents is more effective than treatment as usual at the following: - Decreasing inpatient hospitalizations - Increasing treatment retention (many teens drop out in the early stages of most other treatment programs). - Reducing suicidal ideation, depression, anger, anxiety and emotional sensitivity - Reducing symptoms common in a borderline personality disorder (confusion about self, interpersonal chaos, emotional dysregulation, impulsivity). Rathus & Miller, 2002