September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and in recognition of this we invited Kimberly O’Brien, Ph.D., LICSW to have a conversation about teens and suicide. Dr. O’Brien is a clinical social worker whose research focuses on the development and testing of brief interventions for suicidal teens with and without substance use and their families. An often-stigmatized topic, Dr. O’Brien helps break down walls around having conversations with young people about suicide. There are so many contributing factors which can lead young people to have thoughts of killing themselves – depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sexual identity, trauma, gender identity – and being able to have an open and honest conversation with a trusted individual is an important and vital part of making people feel heard and supported.
CW: suicidal ideation, suicide among teens and lgbtqia community, eating disorder behaviors, trauma histories, mention of substance use, mention of family interventions and dynamics