3 Children, Teens and Suicide Loss Suicide most often occurs when stressors and health issues converge to create an experience of hopelessness and despair. Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, and it is often undiagnosed or untreated. Most people who actively manage their mental health conditions lead fulfilling lives. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance use problems, especially when unaddressed, increase the risk for suicide. What are some of the reasons why people die by suicide? There are three categories of risk factors (health, environmental, and historical) that, when present at the same time, increase the risk of suicide. Research provides evidence that biology and genetics play a large part in both mental health challenges and suicide.* Health Factors • Mental health conditions such as depression; substance use disorders; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia and psychosis; personality traits of aggression, mood changes, and poor relationships; conduct disorder; and anxiety disorders • Serious or chronic health condition and/or pain • Traumatic brain injury Environmental Factors • Access to lethal means, including firearms and drugs • Prolonged stress, such as harassment, bullying, relationship problems, and unemployment • Stressful life events, which may include a death, divorce, or job loss • Exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide