Fifty years ago adolescents mostly died of natural causes, whereas they now die from more preventable causes. Part of this change has been a worldwide rise in adolescent suicide rates in both developed and developing countries. Suicides are probably under reported due to cultural and religious stigma attached to self-destruction. Objectives of this study were to collect data about suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts and related sociodemographic details in high school students. The population comprised 2,480 randomly selected students among 46,271 students from 72 high schools in 1999-2000 in Adana and 2,352 (94.8%) students from 10 schools were reached and given a questionnaire modified using Youth Risk Behavior Survey Questionnaire (YRBSQ). chi(2) and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests were used. Mean age was 16.5 +/- 1 (14-21) year, 1, 187 (50.5%) students reported severe desperation, 526 students (22.4%) had suicidal thoughts, 332 (14. 1 %) planned committing suicide, 145 (6.2%) attempted suicide. The occurrence rate of desperation, suicidal thoughts, plans, attempts and the mean number of attempts were significantly higher in females than males. Adolescent suicide is a tragedy affecting individual, family, peers, and community. Families, teachers, and physicians should be aware of risk factors for suicide.