Suicidal Behavior in Preteens
police officers frequently have contact with suicidal adolescents and teens. It is far less common for them to become involved with younger children exhibiting suicidal behavior, but this may be changing. Preteen suicides in the United States are rare but increasing. Suicidal behaviors ranging from ideation to nonfatal attempts also are becoming progressively more common in preadolescents. If current trends continue, police officers and other first responders can expect to receive a growing number of mental health calls involving suicidal children. They also will have to cope with the aftermath of more suicides by children in coming years. Suicide prevention training for police officers does not usually cover suicidal behavior and suicides in preteens. Agencies must remedy this. Officers may be among the first to encounter this problem in their communities.