Suicidal Behaviors in Children and Adolescents

Assessing the lethality of an suicidal attempt (or gesture):

Most serious risk after suicide attempt is not for suicide but for major depression.

Serious suicidal intents are:

You must also assess the family. Risk is increased if the family response is:

Family stability

Family history


Necessary if:

Clustering = a contagion phenomenon leading to increase in suicidal behavior among adolescents, either because of suicide in the media or in one's family or community.

Suicide is rare among children under 10, but it does happen, so you should take the risk seriously. Even small children can hang themselves. Even a child who says, "I wish I never had been born," take this seriously.

Always consider issues of sexual orientation or "gender dysphoria" when exploring possible causes of suicidal attempts or ideation.

Child Home