Opening up the Lines of Communication

In Order to Prevent Teen Suicide, We Need to be More Vocal

Zaire Thomas, Staff Writer

Bullying amongst teens is an ongoing issue. Whether it’s in school or on social media, bullying happens every day. As stated by Jayne O’Donnell & Anne Saker from USA Today Network the suicide rate for kids ages 10 through 17 has gone up 70% from 2006 to 2016. Black children kill themselves less often than white kids. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), a majority of these adolescents who attempt suicide are suffering from depression or have mental health disorders. One important note from Kids Health in relation to teens and suicide attempts is that these are often impulsive acts, which means that when adolescents try to harm themselves it isn’t thought about thoroughly. 

        There are many ways that teens attempt suicide. One of the most common, according to AACAP, is an overdose. When a young person attempts to overdose, they often try to find any over the counter or prescription pills they can and just take as many pills as they can. In order to protect young people from overdosing it’s important to seek help for them. Although they aren’t speaking up, once you notice the slightest change in someone, take action right away.

Kids Health also reports that females think about suicide twice as often as boys do. Teens go through a lot that impacts their emotional health, including body changes, changes in thoughts and feelings, and feeling hopeless or guilty.  Teens are also stressing over a number of things in their lives such as school and friendship, plus trying to figure themselves out. The pressure can result in kids feeling as if they can’t be themselves around their peers, or in order to fit in, they have to do what their friends are doing. 

The importance of understanding the issues that create such pressure on teens is important because, according to AACAP, suicide is the second leading cause of death amongst adolescents. 

There are some important warning signs to look for related to teens and suicide. Usually, signs are shown right away. For example, according to O’Donnell & Saker teenagers tend to give up their prized possessions, grades start slipping up, and they become isolated from family and friends. These are common signs teens reveal before actually taking an action that leads up to committing suicide. It is important that adolescents reach out to a trusted adult, confide in a friend or visit a school counselor whenever the thought of suicide comes to mind. There is absolutely no reason why a child should ever feel like they are less than or not good enough. As claimed by O’Donnell & Saker, “Sometimes life is so traumatic, suicide just seems like the best option for a young person.” Overall this is such a terrible way to solve the problem of life being “so traumatic.” Teenage years are some of the most difficult years because everyone is in the process of finding themselves and figuring out where they fit in. Instead of doing something that they might regret right after, they should seek help. There’s no harm in asking for help: talk to someone, have your voice be heard. There’s no doubt that suicide is a very sensitive subject, but in order for it to be prevented, it’s essential that these kids are offered help and feel comfortable in every way possible.