Every two hours and eleven minutes a person under the age of twenty-five successfully commits suicide. And for every successful suicide there are at least 50 to 200 attempts.
That’s a lot, for a society that focuses on creating a squeaky clean perception of their lives based on ideals we as a generation have created.
But despite the fact that the rapid increase of suicide rates has become a growing concern we as a community have let idealistic views and unrealistic values push aside this incomparable issue. We have let this distorted mind-set distract us from the fact that the number of adolescents who are taking their own lives has hit its highest rate in 14 years, with an unbelievable amount of more than four suicides a week. Yet this still isn’t a matter which we, as valued members of society, choose to bring attention to midst discussion.
But suicide is something that can be prevented, not only by those who have unfortunately succumbed to suicidal thoughts but by everyone around them. Yes, we all have access to the Samaritan suicide prevention number but those who are deeply ridden with anxiety and are overwhelmed by the depressing thoughts which weigh their now exhausted bodies down are unlikely to willingly reach out for the much needed help they require and deserve.
So, what can we do to help prevent suicide? Well although suicide can be unpredictable and to anyone who’s fortunate enough to be separated from this twisted, desperate mentality may seem sudden and unprovoked. However to those who see suicide as an option have lost all hope in any and everything, once in this mentality it’s hard to escape.
You start to forget how it feels to be happy, simple things from smiling and talking to getting out of bed in the morning seem like distant memories which have now become impossible, unthinkable tasks which you are just expected to be able to do. But everything eventually becomes un-doable, with the weight of your thoughts dragging you down and the voices in your head occupying your existence, living no longer is a fundamental function which we as beings are programmed to carry out. Instead it becomes a burden which plagues your reality. Feeling drained and having lost any remanence of hope your vacant mind is easily manipulated by the terrorising voices in your head which convince you that suicide is your only option.
Suicide isn’t an option
But an extreme measure which one may resort to because we as a community have not made any other option apparent. Schools tiptoe around the subject, cautiously brushing over the topic of depression but not mentioning any effective solutions. No, exercise and a healthy diet won’t cure depression just like flowers and get well soon cards can’t heal a broken leg. But what can? Although there aren’t any quick fix solutions which can pull you out of a suicidal mentality when you feel like you’re too far in, your judgement being clouded by the pessimism which is fed to your brain like a drip, but there are options available which could help quieten the voices in your head and remind you of what it feels like to be happy again.
Talking, yes the simple action of engaging in speech with someone who may feel as though the world has neglected them could help lift some of the excess weight that they’ve had to carry all on their own for too long. More so letting someone release all their suppressed sadness, and have their demons drowned in words of hope, optimism and encouragement could possibly be one of the greatest things we could do, as these small acts of kindness could preserve the precious gift of life.
Of course there are professional ways to help someone avoid resorting to suicide but if we as brothers, sisters, friends, classmates and teachers make options like counselling or therapy more common to conversation we could eventually remove the stigma around mental illness, allowing access to those who need it to more easily obtaining help, hopefully eventually destroying the idea that suicide is an option.