Home » News » Teen Suicides — Another Look

Teen Suicides — Another Look

Medication WarningNew studies on teen suicides have prompted mental health authorities to review the benefits and/or harm that can accompany regulatory warnings and demands.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests the rise in child and teen suicide rates should prompt clinical and policy review.

In the September 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers looked at children and teen suicide rates in the United States and the Netherlands, two countries which have put major warnings on the medications to treat depression, with a resulting substantial drop in medication prescriptions for children and teens.

They observed a large increase in suicide in children and teens following controversy about advisory warnings-one that correlates to the drop in prescriptions for antidepressants.

Suicide has many dimensions, and medication treatment is an important one. This study is an opportunity to begin to put key pieces together relating regulatory demands, warnings and the tragedy that is suicide.

One possibility is that the FDA “black box warning” on the use of antidepressants with children and adolescents has reduced access to a useful (but risky on rare occasions) treatment-with bad outcomes as a result.

It will take more study and time to fully assess how central this element of the rate increase is. NAMI will support and follow that research.

NAMI favors fully informed consent about the risks and benefits of all treatments and the often overlooked risk of no treatment of all-along with careful monitoring of individuals who have suicidal concerns and a comprehensive treatment plan that looks at all aspects of a child’s or teenager’s life in order to maximize their chances of a safe recovery from depression or other psychiatric illnesses.

An additional report by the Center for Disease Control documents that the rate of suicide in teenage girls is increasing. Again, this could have many causes but it will be important to follow in terms of whether it is a clear and persistent trend or an anomaly.

Some programs, like Columbia University’s Teen Screen have been shown to be safe and are an important way to reach out to at-risk children and teens.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Teen Suicides — Another Look

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Teen Suicides — Another Look. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.