Youth & Suicide


According to the most recent California Healthy Kids Survey, many students felt sad and hopeless for 2 weeks or more during the past year:

  • 24% of 7th graders (nearly 1 in 4)
  • 29% of 9th graders
  • 33% of 11th graders (1 in 3)

A high number seriously considered suicide during the past year:

  • 16% of 9th graders
  • 17% of 11th graders

Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24.

Get Help Now

  • Crisis Text Line
    Free, confidential 24/7 support with a trained crisis counselor
    Text EMM to 741741 
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    Call 1-800-273-8255
    Or text the word HEARME to the number 839863.
    Free • Confidential • 24/7

  • Teen Line
    Teen-to-teen education and support
    Text TEEN to 839863 between 6:00pm–9:00pm PST
    Or call 800‑TLC‑TEEN from 6pm to 10pm PST 

  • The Peer-Run Warm Line
    Peer-run non-emergency emotional support
    Call 855‑845‑7415

  • California Youth Crisis Line
    Help with issues including medical care, dating violence, sexual assault, runaway resources and homelessness
    1-800-843-5200 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
    Resources include:
    • The Trevor Project Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386 - free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • TrevorText: Available on Thursdays and Fridays, 1 pm - 5 pm PT. Text the word “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200. Standard text messaging rates apply.

  • Emergency: Call 911

  • Text or call 2-1-1 (for mental wellness, housing, job, runaway, or other resources)
    Text your zip code to 898211 

  • See more resources: TEXT. TALK. HELP. >



Many suicidal youth act in ways that signal their suicidal thinking. These include:

  • Preoccupation with death
  • Suicidal threats in the form of direct and indirect statements
  • Suicide notes and plans
  • Prior suicidal behavior
  • Making final arrangements (e.g., making funeral arrangements, writing a will, giving away prized possessions)
  • Changes in behavior, appearance, thoughts and/or feelings


Youth who feel suicidal may not seek help directly. However, parents, school personnel, and peers can recognize the warning signs and take immediate action to keep the youth safe. When a youth gives signs that they may be considering suicide, the following actions should be taken:

  • Remain calm.
  • Ask the youth directly if he or she is thinking about suicide.
  • Focus on your concern for their well-being and avoid being accusatory.
  • Listen.
  • Reassure them that there is help and they will not feel like this forever.
  • Do not judge.
  • Provide constant supervision and do not leave the youth alone.
  • Remove means for self-harm.
  • Get help: peers should not agree to keep the suicidal thoughts a secret. Instead, they should tell an adult such as a parent, teacher, or school psychologist. Parents should seek help from school or community mental health resources as soon as possible. School staff should take the student to the designated school mental health professional or administrator.

Learn How to Help

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Suicide prevention resources
1-888-333-AFSP (2377)

Know the Signs
Learn the warning signs – Find the words – Reach out

safeTALK Suicide Alertness Classes
Free, 3-hour training sessions for schools
Click here to learn more.