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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 1994 Sep-Oct;15(5):497-504.

Adolescent suicide: behaviors, risk factors, and psychiatric nursing interventions.


Current statistics show a marked increase in suicides among adolescents 15 to 19 years of age. The literature suggests an increase in the use of lethal methods such as firearms by young suicide attempters. Studies show that most adolescent suicide completers have never received mental health treatment, although the majority had exhibited psychiatric symptoms previous to their deaths. This review of the literature identifies the characteristics and precipitants of suicidal behavior among adolescents. The literature clearly indicates a need for suicide awareness and prevention programs and for the early identification of teenagers at risk for suicidal behaviors. The most logical location for suicide prevention programs and activities is in the schools where the greatest number of adolescents can be reached. The master's-prepared psychiatric mental health nurse in a consultive and collaborative role can be instrumental in the successful formation and execution of these programs. In a joint effort, school personnel and the psychiatric mental health nurse specialist may be able to decrease significantly the number of suicidal behaviors among adolescents.

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