What can we look out for to prevent suicidal thoughts in our teens?

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***This media release contains information some readers may find distressing as it refers to data about mental health, suicide and self-harm. If you or anyone you know needs help, support is available now. Call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. ***

Japanese researchers looking into the signs that teens give off if they might have suicidal thoughts say that the most prevalent things to look out for are withdrawn symptoms or increasing somatic symptoms – physical symptoms such as pain, weakness or shortness of breath. The team investigated 2780 adolescents’ mental health and behaviours, and say that after they adjusted for confounding data, the kids most likely to have suicidal thoughts were those who were socially withdrawing and having physical issues, when compared to the kids who didn’t have these thoughts.

Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.53166

Organisation/s: The University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan

Funder: This study was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI (grant Nos.
JP20H01777, JP20H03951, JP21H05171, JP21H05174, JP21K10487, JP22H05211, 23K07028, and JP23H02834),
Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (grant Nos. JP18dm0307001, JP18dm0307004, and
JP19dm0207069), Moonshot Research and Development (grant No. JPMJMS2021), Japan Science and
Technology Agency-Mirai Program (grant No. JPMJMI21J3), University of Tokyo Institute for Diversity and
Adaptation of Human Mind, and the International Research Center for Neurointelligence at the University of Tokyo
Institutes for Advanced Study.

From: JAMA

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