Can Summer Jobs Prevent Teen Suicide?

Ahh, spring is coming soon to Wisconsin. I am noticing many people are feeling more energetic and optimistic with the periods of warm sunny weather. But for some people, the change in seasons causes lack of energy and apathy. SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is not just for winter months- it can occur during spring and summer months also. If you notice you have mood/energy changes during warmer (or colder) seasons, try and keep a log of these changes and for more information on SAD, see

Can Summer Jobs Prevent Teen Suicide?

Unemployed adults know that the isolation and lack of routine created by joblessness can be devastating to mental health. However, a new study has shown that teens too may benefit from working, at least during the summer.

A University of Iowa study found that teens at risk for suicide due to factors such as depression, obesity and experiencing same-sex attraction are less likely to be suicidal if they work a paid summer job for 20 hours or more per week. This buffering effect was greater than others such as attending church, participating in sports or living in a two-parent home.

Working over the summer is thought to be empowering, increasing teens’ self-esteem while minimizing isolation, while not producing the conflicts of working over the school year.

The only time this does not hold true is when situations at work create additional problems for teens, such as harassment. Young workers may be especially vulnerable to such abuses and should be taught to speak up if they occur, caution researchers. From:

Devona Marshall, the clinic director and psychotherapist, has a blog where she writes about therapy, life and being human. It can be found at

All relationships have conflict, it’s how you handle those conflicts that is important!