Suicide is the second highest leading cause of death for youth in Alberta.
For First Nations youth in Alberta, the rate is 3 times higher than non-First Nations. In 2015, 2170 youth were seen throughout Alberta emergency departments for suicide attempts or ideation.
Youth suicide is a serious concern and for some people, suicide is a tough topic to talk about. Still, youth suicide needs to be discussed openly in order to understand why it happens and to prevent suicides from occurring. If you are having any thoughts of suicide, you might feel really unsure of what to do or where to turn. You might feel like your life has a lot of pressures and stress and you may not feel sure how to handle them. When things feel overwhelming, it might be hard to imagine a time when you will have less worries and pressures. Perhaps you are being bullied at school, at home, or online. Maybe you are confused about who you are, where you fit in, or are feeling very down and alone. But as overwhelming as life can feel, it is important to know that there is support to help you when you feel like life’s pressures and worries are too much.
Risk factors for suicide
Thoughts of suicide can happen to people from all kinds of backgrounds. Suicidal thoughts can happen at any age, for any race, any sexual orientation, and whether you are wealthy or not. Other risk factors for suicide include having mental health concerns, abusing substances (alcohol and drugs), abuse of any kind, sexual orientation (being LGBTQ – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer or questioning), or being homeless. Youth may be more at risk of suicide if they have already tried to hurt themselves intentionally, or if they have had a previous suicide attempt.