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There are many risk factors for suicide attempts among young people. Here are 12 of the most prominent.

The youth:

1. Has been bullied, sometimes frequently
2. Tends to be isolated and is considered a loner
3. Has shown a tendency to be impulsive
4. Is known as a “perfectionist,” and gets very discouraged after “failure”
5. Has been diagnosed with a mood disorder by a medical or psychiatric professional
6. Has tried to harm themselves before
7. Is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender, especially if recently rejected
8. Is Questioning sexual orientation or gender identity and has experienced humiliation or rejection
9. Has a history of being abused and/or neglected by adults
10. Has lived in a family with domestic violence
11. Has a learning disability, especially if belittled or bullied by others
12. Has access to pills, weapons, poisons, ropes, or car keys

Practitioners and researchers tell us that the more of these risk factors, the higher the likelihood a youth will consider or attempt suicide.

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Dr. Chris Downs has devoted much of his professional career to improving services and outcomes for older, at-risk youth. Chris is President of The Downs Group LLC, based in Seattle and has the pleasure of working with many talented professionals in child welfare and allied areas including his company Associates.