Globally, close to 800,000 people die from suicide every year. That’s one person every 40 seconds.
We all know the rates of teen suicide keep increasing; suicide seen as a solution keeps increasing.
The CDC reports that:
> Boys are 4 times more likely to die from suicide than girls.
>Girls are more likely to try to commit suicide than boys.
> Guns are used in more than half of all youth suicides.
> In 2017, the suicide rate for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 was 14.46 per 100,000—the highest recorded rate ever.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds and 79% of global suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries.
Causes and Signs
Changes in their families, such as divorce, siblings moving out, or moving to a new town
Changes in friendships
Problems in school
Warning signs are common to the symptoms of depression-
Changes in eating and sleeping habits
Loss of interest in normal activities
Withdrawal from friends and family members
Acting-out behaviors and running away
Alcohol and drug use…and more
Anyone more at risk?
A teen’s risk for suicide varies with age, gender, and cultural and social influences. Risk factors may
change over time. Some are:
One or more mental or substance abuse problems
Undesirable life events such as being bullied or recent losses, such as the death of a parent
Family history of mental or substance abuse problems
Family history of suicide
Family violence, including physical, sexual, or verbal or emotional abuse
How to help
Learning the warning signs of teen suicide can prevent an attempt. Keeping open
communication with the teen is key.
Also take these steps:
Keep medicines and guns away from the teen
Get the teen help for any mental or substance abuse problems
Support him/her; listen, try not to offer undue criticism, and stay connected.
Become informed about teen suicide. Resources include the public library, local support
groups, and the Internet
Know the warning signs for depression
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) brings clarity to what a teen is thinking and feeling. It identifies the emotions that often result in a sense of isolation as well as the self-defeating thoughts and assumptions adolescents can make
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) provides specific skills like mindfulness and emotional regulation. These skills can be used right away and become stronger with practice.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) leads to transformation and healing. This therapy helps teens make positive choices. MET helps resolve any initial resistance to treatment. Experiential modalities, such as art therapy and music therapy, give teens ways to process their emotions through self-expression and body-based practices.
Isolation promotes us to succumb to painful thoughts. A teen could benefit from extra support if they have:
changes in mood that are not usual, such as ongoing irritability, feelings of hopelessness or rage, and frequent conflicts with friends and family.
changes in behavior, such as stepping back from personal relationships. If your ordinarily outgoing teen shows little interest in staying in touch with their friends while stuck at home, this might be cause for concern.
a lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed. That music obsessed kid isn’t listening to anything? That teen stopped baking when that’s what they loved most?
Preventing suicide in the teenage community means first understanding the causes and signs of it. When a teenager feels like their life is turning upside down, it becomes harder and harder to stay connected to them. But this is the best thing we all can do for each other- feeling at least a little bit more grounded while suffering can make all the difference. These are lonely times as it is, with 7/10 teens suffering from mental illnesses, which means we all need to go an extra mile to check up on each other. Stay together and don’t be afraid to find help, there a variety of ways to treat this.
Writer - Astha B
Illustration by - Kavni Shah