Suicide is a difficult topic to consider and or write about and I do so to raise the collective consciousness around this enigmatic issue. I want to be clear that I am not giving advice on this very weighty issue and any concerns that you may have about yourself or someone else should be addressed by a healthcare professional without delay.
Many people may have known someone who has committed suicide and over the years, I have lost several close friends to suicide and like so many other people, I have been left wondering if there might have been something that I or others might have done to prevent such a tragic end.
Now, after declines in suicide, it is increasing again and especially so for Americans, 15-24 years of age or Millennial’s. Last year, 38,000 Americans died as a result of suicide and each day about 1700 people attempt suicide unsuccessfully. The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center found that 1 in 5 teenagers had thought about suicide, 1 in 6 had made a plan for suicide and 1 in 12 had actually attempted suicide.
Girls think about committing suicide about twice as often as boys do, however, boys die at four times the rate from suicide as they tend use firearms more than girls. One of the real difficulties in detecting suicidal intentions among teens or young adults is a perception that it is a turbulent time for all young people.
Many adults refer to teens or young adults as having “raging hormones” or “everyone went through crazy times as a teenager or young adult.” I am not convinced that these stereotypes are accurate as I have known many young people who lacked life experience but were emotionally balanced and were coping very well with their respective lives. Like many stereotypes they can produce unintended outcomes and that influence may be in play here as well.
Reach the writer at Hurlburt@wildblue.net