Suicide Prevention and Awareness
Living with a tic disorder or Tourette syndrome (TD/TS) often blesses individuals with unique gifts such as creativity and a full of energy approach to life. Many times, people with TD/TS are incredibly talented and live long, successful lives. However, unfortunately, there are times that the burden of TD/TS can feel overwhelming or hopeless, which leads to someone hurting themselves.
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) reports an eye-opening statistic that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after accidents (unintentional injuries). Recently, a study out of Biological Study Journal (2017) showed that those living with TD/TS have a four times more likely risk for committing suicide than their peers without TD/TS, which amplifies the number provided by the AACAP.
Among younger children and teens, suicide attempt reasons are complex. Typically, attempts are often impulsive. These attempts and feelings of harming self may be associated with feelings of sadness, confusion, anger, or problems with attention and hyperactivity or obsessive thoughts. Adding in the complex co-occurring conditions of TD/TS, such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can exacerbate the feelings of suicidality.
In order to take large strides in suicide prevention, it is important to understand the risk factors and warning signs of suicide. Learning more about what might lead a child or teen to attempt suicide, might help save your loved ones life. By discussing suicide risk, identifying protective factors, seeking appropriate healthcare, and breaking the stigma of suicide, the goal is to prevent as many tragedies for troubled children and teens.
For more information about saving lives with suicide prevention, visit the Tourette Association YouTube Webinar: Talk Saves Lives-An Introduction to Suicide Prevention.
Also, ensure you and your family members know your resources for crisis care:
- National Alliance on Mental Health Hotline
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-TALK
- Crisis Text Line or text 741-741
- Your local emergency department and 911
For further resources or information on suicide prevention and help, visit any of the clickable resources above, or check out these resources.
- LifeSavers Manual
- Stop A Suicide
- National Alliance on Mental Health
- Talking to Kids When They Need Help
- Tourette Association Youth Ambassadors through your local Tourette Association Support Group