Hosansky, David. “Youth Suicide: Should Government Fund More Prevention Programs?” CQ Researcher, vol. 14, no. 6, 13 Feb. 2004, p. 125. EBSCOhost, libproxy.shepherd.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=119943089&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
This year, about 2,800 young people will kill themselves, including about 1,600 in the emotionally 15-to-19-year-old age group. Suicidal tendencies are so common that about one in five high school students seriously consider suicide. To reduce the teen suicide rate, mental health experts say it is important to identify and treat at-risk Teenagers. However suicidal youths are difficult to identify. There are a few suicide causes indicating antidepressant drugs, increasingly prescribed for children, may trigger suicide in certain cases. Meanwhile, limited government funds have been allocated for the problem, few schools have screening or counseling programs and many states lack comprehensive suicide-prevention plans.
Teen suicide is an important issue because it threatens so many lives that have great potential. To help you understand the condition of the issue, I will provide statistics about teen suicide, explain the warning signs, and provide examples of prevention techniques. Teen suicide has been increasing over the past decade throughout the entire nation. The best way to prevent teen suicide is to inform people of its existence and to teach people to look for the warning signs.
Someone that is Suicidal may sometimes communicate a subtle or indirect message about their intent. Verbal clues might include statements like: “I might as well be dead,” “you won’t have to worry about me much longer,” or “you’ll be sorry when I’m gone.” The widely held belief that “people who say they are going to kill themselves never do”. A young person who talks about wanting to die is more likely to attempt suicide.
According to recent statistics, every hour and 45 minutes a young person commits suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students and the third leading cause of death among youth (ages 15-24). Another recent statistic is from the Netflix Serious “13 Reasons why” the show is supposed to prevent suicide and bullying but after the first season, the show caused more teens to actually commit suicide and the show also caused a lot of controversy with parents. There is a poll online to get the show banned and taken off Netflix. The Book that came out before the show is also banned from all high schools.
According to case reports, 85 percent of those who attempt suicide with a firearm die, compared with 69 percent who try suffocation, 2 percent who overdose and 1 percent who cut themselves. In recent reports because of the show “13 Reasons why” there has been more of a percentage of suicide attempts. Some racial and ethnic groups have higher suicide rates than others. American Indian and Alaskan Native teenagers have the highest rate of death by suicide, followed by white teenagers, Asian and Pacific Islanders and then blacks, according to government data.
It’s difficult to pinpoint why suicide death rates have risen recently among teenagers. Kelly Posner, a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University, says possibilities include a growth in social media and cyberbullying; a drop in antidepressant use after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004 required antidepressant labels to carry a warning of possible suicide risk for children and adolescents; and the weak economy.
There are several warning signs of a teenager becoming at risk with suicide. Indications for depression are uncommunicativeness, irritability, fatigue, changes in eating and sleeping habits, reckless or abusive behavior, a marked increase or decrease in sexual activity, loss of interest in school, friends and other activities, preoccupation with death and lessened fear of death. Increased use of drugs or alcohol, although not necessarily evidence of suicidal thoughts, may precede a suicide attempt or signal a deep depression that could become suicidal when the drugs no longer ease the emotional pain they were intended to relieve.
Suicide is especially prevalent among youths in rural areas, perhaps because of widely scattered mental health services and the easy availability of firearms. Some experts argue that stricter gun control laws would help reduce the youth suicide rate, but others say Teens would simply turn to other means to end their lives. For example we do live in a small area but everyone does know everybody. If someone that was suicidal and wanted to get the “tools” in order to kill himself, there is always a way in resources just by knowing someone. Another thing with suicide, you will never know who is feeling like they do not want to be here unless you talk to the person. People tend to keep most of their saddest on the inside and act like everything is “ok” on the outside. I am sometimes one of those people to be honest.
To reduce the teen suicide rate, experts say it is vital to identify at-risk teenagers and get them into treatment. Several public schools have programs to train parents, teachers and students to spot potentially depressed children, and some experts say screening for suicidal tendencies should be as widespread as screening for hearing problems.
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students, with an estimated 7.5 deaths per 100,000 students per year, according to a study of Big 10 campuses from 1980 to 1990. A nationwide study found that 9 percent of college students seriously considered suicide between one and 10 times in the 2002-3 school year, and just over 1 percent actually tried to kill themselves.
Research has established that suicide, especially of a young person, gives rise to a complex blend of reactions among family members and close friends. These generally include: (1) strong feelings of loss, accompanied by sorrow and mourning; (2) anger at being made to feel responsible or at being rejected, in that whatever help had been offered was refused; (3) guilt, shame or embarrassment; (4) relief that the nagging, insistent demands of the deceased have ended; (5) feelings of desertion, a common reaction among children in particular; (6) self-questioning as to whether everything possible had been done to forestall suicide; (7) arousal of one’s own suicidal impulses..
Last year, 17 percent of high school students in the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said they seriously had considered attempting suicide during the prior 12 months; almost 14 percent said they had made a plan; 8 percent reported having attempted suicide one or more times over that period; and just under 3 percent said they had made an attempt that led to treatment by a doctor or nurse.
Mental health professionals know little about what causes someone who is thinking about suicide to attempt it. And the ability to predict who is at immediate risk, in the next day, week or month is frustratingly limited. The government and suicide-prevention organizations list suicide risk factors, such as depression, anxiety, past suicide attempts and a family history of suicidal behavior, as well as more immediate warning signs, such as hopelessness and anger. But most people in these categories never try to take their life. Moreover, such lists of risk factors typically do not differentiate by age.
Prevention of teen suicide takes a lot of counseling. Suicide is a significant public health problem and there is a lot to learn about how to prevent it. One strategy is to learn about the warning signs of suicide, which can include individuals talking about wanting to hurt themselves, substance use and having changes in their mood, diet or sleeping patterns. When these warning signs occur, you should quickly connect the person to supportive services. Promoting opportunities and setting that strengthen connections among friends, family members and communities is another suicide prevent goal.
It is important that people understand the reality of teen suicide. Once people are made aware, more can be done to address to problem and to prevent its occurrence it is an awful reality that exists in our society, and yes, even at our school. I wish I could say my life has never been touched by teen suicide, but it has. I have once been a victim of feeling depressed to the point where I wanted to give up, but I found a way to prevent myself from feeling that way. Do not be fooled into thinking it could never happen to your or people you care about. Please remember, suicide is neither a rich man’s disease, nor a poor man’s curse. It is common through all levels of society.
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