More than 5,000 teenagers kill themselves each year. Suicide is one of the major causes of death among 15-24 year olds. What are some of the warning signs that you need to be on the lookout for?

Depression is a major factor in suicide. Watch for symptoms like eating and sleep disorders, mood changes, withdrawal – especially withdrawal from friends – irritation, sudden changes in grades, loss of interest in school or hobbies, substance abuse, inability to concentrate, fatigue or loss of energy.

Some special warning signs for suicide are giving away treasured possessions, being preoccupied with death and making allusions or threats to suicide. These should always be taken seriously.

Ask your teen what’s troubling him. Express concern and offer your unconditional love. Seek professional help through school counselors or outside professional .

Most suicidal teens don’t want to die. They want to live differently. Heeding a cry for help can save your teen’s life.