Many teenagers are not navigating adolescence successfully. Often, even though they have material things, the latest electronics, and spending money, they can be stressed, unhappy, and feel directionless. For an increasing number of teenagers, their struggle to manage pressures and expectations leads them to consider suicide as their only means of escape.
Family and children’s counselor Julie Lowe takes a look at some of the reasons teenagers are increasingly vulnerable to suicide and what factors lead to it. She offers helpful advice for all those who work with teenagers to recognize suicide warning signs and shares ways to guard against hopelessness and help them find reasons to live.
Loving, trustworthy adults (parents, mentors, youth workers, and friends) need to establish solid relationships with teenagers that will serve as the basis for the direction and instruction that they still acutely need. Teenagers long to be known and accepted.
Giving them a solid foundation that they are known and loved by God, displaying care, sacrificial giving, genuine compassion, faith in Christ, and being there for them builds a foundation that will not be easily shaken and will provide a lifeline to teens who are struggling.
Julie Lowe, MA, is a faculty member at CCEF and a licensed professional counselor with nearly twenty years of counseling experience. Julie is also a registered play therapist and has developed a play therapy office at CCEF to better serve families, teens, and children. Julie is the author of Child Proof and Building Bridges, as well as the minibooks Helping Your Anxious Child and Teens and Suicide. Julie and her husband, Greg, have six children and serve as foster and adoptive parents.
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