What Is Suicidal Ideation and What Can You Do About It?

Teenage suicidal thoughts

Suicide is the 2nd-leading cause of death for high school-aged youth.

Teenage suicidal thoughts

What Is Suicidal Ideation?

Teenage suicidal thoughts

Warning Signs

Helping someone who is suicidal

Treatment & Recovery

4 out of 5 teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

Resources for Helping Someone Who Is Suicidal

What is suicidal ideation

How to Talk With Your Child About Suicide

Helping someone who is suicidal

Top 10 Resources for Suicide Prevention

What is suicidal ideation

A Resource Guide for Families

FAQs About Suicide

What is suicidal ideation?

Suicidal ideation is having thoughts about dying by suicide. A person may or may not have actual plans for the act itself. It can manifest as a desire to no longer be alive.

What should I do if I'm feeling suicidal?

If you're feeling suicidal, tell someone you trust immediately. If you're under 18, be sure to confide in an adult who can help. If you don't know of anyone you can talk to IRL, you can text HOME to 741741 for help from the Crisis Text Line or call the 988 Lifeline.

What are some tips for helping someone who is suicidal?

If you believe their life to be in danger, please get them help immediately. If they have a therapist, help them reach out to that mental health professional for urgent support. If they need medical attention, you can help them get to the hospital.

You can also support them by listening carefully to feelings they want to share, making fun plans for the future, and letting them know they can talk to you any time they're in crisis.

The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources.

What are some potential signs of teenage suicidal thoughts?

Here are some things to watch for:

  • Talking about suicide or a sudden interest in death
  • Reported feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or deep depression
  • Risk-seeking or destructive behavior
  • Acting out of character
  • Loss of interest in valued activities
  • Reaching out to important people in one’s life
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • A sudden, positive change in mood
How do I contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline?

You can receive 24/7 free support by calling the 988 Lifeline.

Teenage suicidal thoughts

How Bark Can Help

42% of LGBTQ kids ages 13–17 have seriously considered suicide in the last year.

Teenage Suicidal Thoughts and Tech Use

The Tools to Reach Out

Teenage suicidal thoughts

Additional Suicide Prevention Resources