To print: Use your web browser's print feature. Close this window after printing.

Warning Signs of Suicide in Children and Teens

Table of Contents


Warning signs of suicide in children and teens include:

Not everyone who's at risk for suicide has these signs. They may have others. For example, they may seem hopeless, anxious, or depressed. Or they may quit caring about how they look.

There may also be other reasons for these behaviors.

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If your child talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

Consider saving these numbers in your phone.

What puts children and teens at risk for suicide?

It's hard to know if a child or teen is thinking about suicide. But you can look for things that may make them more likely to have thoughts of suicide or to make a suicide attempt. These include their personal experiences and their family history.

Take any mention of suicide seriously. If a child or teen talks about suicide, self-harm, or feeling hopeless, get help right away.

Personal experiences

Children and teens may be more likely to think about or attempt suicide if they:

Family history

Children and teens may be at higher risk of suicide if they have:

Credits for Warning Signs of Suicide in Children and Teens

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
David A. Brent MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Note: The "printer friendly" document will not contain all the information available in the online document. Some information (e.g. cross-references to other topics, definitions or medical illustrations) is only available in the online version.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.