Be aware: Signs of suicide risk

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults between the ages of 10 and 24. It results in nearly 4,600 young lives lost each year in the U.S.

Mathew Nguyen, M.D., a UF College of Medicine psychiatrist who specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry, said people who know a person at risk for suicide should look for risky behaviors and warning signs.

“While no one is to blame for suicide, it is something that can be prevented,” Nguyen said. “People surrounding the troubled child might recognize signs and should seek professional help immediately. The mental health issues the child is dealing with won’t just go away on their own, typically.”

For help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. UF Health Psychiatry is also a great resource for people who recognize risky behaviors. To request an evaluation by a UF Health psychiatrist, call 352-265-4357. To speak with a licensed admissions counselor at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, call 352-265-5481. Visit for more information.

Suicide Risk Factors

  • History of previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide
  • History of depression or other
    mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Stressful life event or loss (such as abuse, bullying, loss of loved one or relational or financial problems)
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Exposure to the suicidal behavior
    of others
  • Incarceration