Adolescent suicide rates are on the rise like never before!

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States. Estimates suggest that 50 to 80 percent of adolescents who die by suicide struggle with undiagnosed depression, and that substance misuse increases suicide risk across age groups. Although approximately one in five adolescents in the United States has a diagnosable mental health disorder, fewer than half of these youth are connected to mental health or substance misuse treatment.

Growing evidence of the increased prevalence of mental health needs in the United States as a result of the 2020 global pandemic has increased the likelihood that adolescent mental health needs will continue to escalate. Middle and high school years, key components of adolescent life, are critical years in which to meet these increasing needs. A 2019 Fluent Research/JED survey of students, caregivers, and educators, for example, revealed universal agreement that adolescents are struggling with important stressors and significant mental health needs, and that providing support for students around those needs is critical. However, that same survey indicated that most students did not feel they received the needed support, and information for emotional and social coping and addressing mental health concerns is lacking.

While many caregivers and educators are working to better support students around mental health promotion, suicide prevention, and social/emotional learning, more can be done to support students, promote mental health and well-being, and reduce suicide risk in our teenagers. Schools cannot do this work alone. Enduring, systemic change requires partnership, technical assistance, and resources.

Snippets from The Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for High Schools by The JED Foundation / protecting emotional health and preventing suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. 

These statistics are exactly why the Elev8Life educational foundation has developed its 7-day iDENTIFY IMPACT leadership intensive.  Our focus is on meeting the needs of teen and college-age young adults by equipping them to develop social and emotional maturity through personal development tools and experiences.