Adolescents may feel many different emotions as they start to go through puberty. Because their bodies are starting to become more developed and their hormones may be changing, puberty can be a difficult time for the teen and their families. Not only that, but as teens start high school, bullying becomes one of the issues that some may have to deal with. There are many different things that can lead to depression in the adolescent’s life, so it is important to help them through the difficult time to prevent suicide. Suicide amongst teens is an ongoing problem that many families and friends of the individual may have to go through. It is the “3rd leading cause [of death] among those ages 15-24 years” (Jarvis, 2015). Some signs and symptoms that may be seen in those who are having suicidal thoughts are “prior suicide attempts, depression, hopelessness, firearms in the home, family history of suicide, family violence, self-mutilation, anorexia, verbal suicide messages, death themes in art, jokes, writing, behaviors, [and] saying goodbye (giving away prized possessions),” according to Jarvis (2015). It is important as nurses to assess for these behaviors and also perform the suicide assessment tool. Now according to the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) (2015), “primary prevention aims to prevent disease or injury before it ever occurs.” With suicide, this means that interventions should be performed to assess for the risk of suicide and to remove any harmful items within the individual’s environment. If something already happened, then secondary prevention would need to take place. To do this, the nurse may help with family and friends of the individual who committed suicide, to offer resources to the family and friends and help wherever. If the suicide hasn’t taken place, the nurse should continue to assess for suicidal thoughts and regularly screen them. Tertiary can be done with education of the population of teens and providing resources. In the Los Angeles (LA) County there are many hotlines that are available as resources for those debating on suicide. While the state of California offers the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. An organization is NAMI California. This organization “is a grassroots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness” (NAMI, n.d.). References County of Los Angeles Public Health. (n.d.). Suicide-Hotlines. Retrieved from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ivpp/injury_topics/Suicide/suicide_hotlines.htm Jarvis, C. (2015). Physical Examination and Health Assessment. Retrieved from https://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/9781455728107/cfi/6/2!/4/ :0.00 NAMI California. (n.d.). Mission. Retrieved from http://namica.org/about-us/nami-california-mission/

Adolescence is a crucial period of development that is characterized by significant physical, hormonal, and emotional changes. It is not uncommon for adolescents to experience a wide range of emotions as they navigate through puberty. However, this transitional phase can be particularly challenging for some teens and their families. In addition to the physical changes, adolescence is also when many teens start high school, and with it comes the potential for bullying and other stressors. These factors, combined with the hormonal fluctuations, can increase the risk of depression and suicidal ideation among adolescents.

Suicide is a pressing issue among teenagers, ranking as the third leading cause of death among individuals aged 15-24 years (Jarvis, 2015). It is important for nurses, as well as other healthcare professionals, to be vigilant and proactive in assessing and addressing the risk factors associated with suicide in this age group. There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate suicidal thoughts, such as prior suicide attempts, depression, hopelessness, access to firearms in the home, family history of suicide, family violence, self-mutilation, anorexia, verbal suicide messages, and death themes in art, jokes, writing, and behaviors (Jarvis, 2015). Recognizing these signs and symptoms is crucial for early intervention and prevention of suicide.

The Institute for Work and Health (IWH) defines primary prevention as interventions aimed at preventing disease or injury before it occurs (IWH, 2015). In the context of suicide, primary prevention involves assessing individuals for suicide risk and removing any potential triggers or harmful items from their environment. This approach is essential in identifying and addressing risk factors before they escalate and potentially lead to a suicide attempt. Nurses play a critical role in assessing for suicidal ideation, implementing suicide risk assessment tools, and providing appropriate interventions to mitigate the risk.

If a suicide has already occurred, secondary prevention should be implemented to provide support to the family and friends of the individual. This may involve connecting them with resources and offering psychological support during their grieving process. Additionally, nurses should continue to assess individuals for suicidal thoughts, regularly screening them for any changes in mental health status. This secondary prevention approach focuses on identifying and addressing risk factors and increasing awareness of available resources to prevent further occurrences of suicide.

Tertiary prevention involves educating the general population, particularly teenagers, about suicide prevention and providing them with resources to seek help if needed. In Los Angeles County, for example, there are numerous hotlines available as resources for individuals contemplating suicide (County of Los Angeles Public Health, n.d.). Furthermore, the state of California offers the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, which provides comprehensive information and support for suicide prevention initiatives (California Department of Public Health, 2019). Organizations such as NAMI California (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) also play a key role in disseminating information, advocating for improved mental health services, and supporting individuals and families affected by serious mental illness (NAMI California, n.d.). By providing education, resources, and support, tertiary prevention efforts aim to reduce the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adolescents.

In conclusion, adolescence is a critical period for mental health and wellbeing. Adolescent suicide is an ongoing concern that necessitates the proactive involvement of healthcare professionals. Primary prevention, through suicide risk assessment and elimination of potential harm, is essential in addressing risk factors before they escalate. Secondary prevention involves providing support to individuals affected by suicide and ongoing assessment for suicidal ideation. Tertiary prevention efforts focus on educating the population and providing resources to prevent future occurrences of suicide. By implementing these prevention strategies, healthcare professionals, including nurses, can play a crucial role in reducing the incidence of adolescent suicide and promoting overall mental health in this vulnerable population.