Adolescence is a time of change, when young people may experience stress from many sources, including relationships with friends and family members and problems at school. Many high school students report thinking about suicide,1 and in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people ages 13 to 19 years.2

Risk and Protective Factors 

Suicide prevention efforts seek to reduce the suicide risk factors for teens and strengthen the factors that help protect them from suicide. Here are a few examples:

Risk factors

  • Depression and other mental health problems
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Feelings of social isolation
  • Difficult life situations (abuse, bullying, poverty)

Protective factors

  • Life skills (problem-solving, coping)
  • Social support from family, friends, and others
  • Positive school experiences


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Trends in the prevalence of suicide-related behavior, national YRBS: 1991–2014. Retrieved from
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Leading causes of death reports, national and regional, 1999–2014. Retrieved from 

    Learn More

    • See the Recommended Resources below selected by SPRC personnel.
    • See All Resources Related to Adolescents for a full list of materials, programs, trainings, and other information available from SPRC. Use the filters on the left to narrow your results.
    • For more on other groups and settings, see our Populations and Settings pages.
    Recommended Resources
    This toolkit provides information on how to reduce suicide risk among high school students.
    This sheet provides information and resources on suicide prevention for high school teachers.
    This sheet lists websites with suicide prevention resources for teens at risk for suicide or who have friends who may be at risk.
    This sheet lists websites and online pages that have suicide prevention resources for parents, guardians, and other family members.
    This SPRC information sheet addresses suicide prevention among youth in foster care.
    This website about teen suicide prevention has information and links to many resources for educators, parents, and teens.

    All Resources Related to Adolescents

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