Suicide Awareness and Prevention: Does suicide always indicate an underlying mental illness


[ Music ]>>I think there
may be some idea that if someone is
having suicidal thoughts that automatically
means they’re suffering from a mental illness,
is that true?>>Not necessarily,
it’s a great question but it’s not necessarily
the case. I mean the data basically
suggests that about 90% of people who ultimately die by suicide probably
had a mental illness. Whether it was diagnosed and
being treated or diagnosed and not being treated, or
through some discussion with family and caregivers
afterwards, there’s some pretty clear
evidence they probably did have some sort of mental illness. You know maybe about 90%
fit into that category. The truth is with teenagers,
there’s a lot stuff that goes on and suicidal thoughts
kind of wax and wane. And it doesn’t necessarily mean
there’s a full blown mental illness, you certainly
don’t have to be depressed to be suicidal, and
I think a lot of people believe
that’s the case. And if you’re suicidal it
doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re depressed. We see a lot of anxiety in youth that are having suicidal
thoughts and I think a lot of that has to do
with ambivalence and they’re just kind of how do
I, make meaning out of my life, and is this worth it, and
I, you know there’s a lot of anxiety about that. You can only imagine, if
these are the thoughts that you’re having, like,
that’s not a small decision. So there’s a lot of
anxiety around that. But it doesn’t mean you have
a full blown mental illness. Now obviously people who have
some sort of mental illness are at higher risk than
those who do not. But even if we go back to
the original data of 90% have or had a mental illness,
that means 10% did not. So we can’t simply go okay well, if you have a diagnosable
condition I need to be worried about you if you don’t, I don’t
need to be worried about you, you’re going to miss
some people that way. [ Music ]

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