Teen Suicide Prevention

October 3, 2011
By , Hartville, OH
A dark, lanky boy, fifteen, teeters at the top of the ledge of a twenty-story building. He looks down at the seemingly uncaring, unconcerned traffic and pedestrians down below him, as the icy, piercing wind batters him from slowly back and forth. Closing his eyes, he waits for the courage and takes a deep breath. Swallowing, he takes a step forward. Teenage suicide has become the third highest cause of teenage mortality; we, the people of the America need to help those that are vulnerable and confused. How many teens will be ignored to raise awareness? Today, we can help suicidal teens by understanding what brought them to this point, seeing the warning signs, and knowing how to help them come back from the ledge, the gripping, greedy hands of suicide.

In order to understand both the internal and external conflicts of a suicidal teen, you have to put yourselves in their shoes. It’s most likely that they lead strikingly different lives than you, or anyone you know. There are many different factors that drive an adolescent to such extreme, desperate measures to escape from their horrible lives. People who are diagnosed with a mental disorder are more likely to commit suicide; 90% of the people who have committed suicide were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. These teenagers may also have a long family history of suicide, or was a victim of child abuse. Understanding a teen’s crisis and past can be the first step to helping them find themselves, and solve their problems.

Suicidal teenagers have many warning signs that tell you that they need your help. They are confused with what they want and how to get it, and they need help clarifying their feelings. Many teens who consider suicide have been known to become enthralled with death and talk about it often; tending to make suicide threats. Suicidal teens also isolate themselves and are liable to become uncommunicative. They also can have a sudden change in beliefs and religion. They can take an unexpected change in a religion that they were uninterested in before, or they can reject a religion they once had beliefs in. The signs that teens show can help you see that they might be depressed, and even suicidal.

After the understanding of the two topics above, you can try to help them see what they need. Listen as patiently as you can and pay attention, and take the conversation seriously. Sometimes, a teen’s family already contributes to their pain, and when that situation arises, it’s better to consult a professional. This is better because they aren’t involved in the mess of troubled relationships. If the problem is at the highest extent, stay with them at all costs; most suicides are performed alone, so leaving them be would be more like putting the gun against their head. Instead, talk calmly with them. Don’t lecture, don’t judge them, and don’t point out the reasons why they shouldn’t kill themselves. Helping them and simply talking to a depressed teen can not only save them, but can show them that they aren’t alone in this world.

16.9% of high school students reported that they seriously considered ending their lives. This number is vastly growing and it is up to us, all of us, to help everyone that we can. Knowing how to help those considering suicide, along with recognizing the dangerous signs, and trying to help the teenagers are the three most important steps to bring back thousands of confused teens back from the ledge, the cliff, the gun.





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