Having a child is a serious responsibility that everyone should take seriously. [THE SENTENCE IS REDUNDANT AND MAKES FOR A WEAK INTRODUCTION. BETTER DELETE THIS.] Being a parent doesn’t end in providing their kids with shelter, food, and other necessities in life. It also includes being responsible for keeping track of their well-being such as their mental and emotional health.
Some are lucky to experience a life without worry, without pain or agony. However, other children are already struggling with the realities of life at a very young age. This could cause them to consider self-harm or worse, suicide. On the other hand, the death of a child is one of the parents’ worst nightmares, what’s worse is that when it is self-inflicted.
Fortunately, there are several ways on how parents can prevent this tragedy to happen in their families. But parents and adults alike should be aware that this has become alarmingly common among young people in recent years. This problem is becoming an epidemic that should concern everyone -- teachers, parents, health professionals, and even lawmakers.
Getting the numbers
In an article published by The New York Times, an American newspaper based in New York City, it is reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that from 2000 to 2007, the number of suicide cases among aged 10 to 24 increased significantly by 56 percent between 2007 and 2017. This makes suicide the second leading cause of death in this young age group, next to accidents such as car crashes.
On the other hand, America’s Health Rankings, a website formed from the partnership of the United Health Foundation, and the American Public Health Association, also stated on their report that suicidal ideation among youth, including a suicide attempt and completion remains on the rise. Results from the 2017 Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System manifest that in the past year 17.2 percent of high school students seriously considered attempting suicide and 7.4 percent attempted suicide.
The report also showed that in terms of gender, males are more likely to die by suicide, than females who are more likely to attempt doing it. Aside from the male population, certain racial and ethnic groups and members of the LGBTQ teens are part of the population of adolescents who are at risk of the rising number of suicide. Adolescents who are diagnosed with psychiatric disorders like major depressive, bipolar, conduct and substance use disorders are also more likely to consider ending their lives.
“Suicide attempts by the young have quadrupled over six years, and that is likely an undercount,” said Henry Spiller, director of the Central Ohio Poison Center, who called the alarming trend “devastating.” This significant rise of number would surely raise a frantic search for its cause and cure, just like any other fatal conditions, but most of the time, suicide attempts and deaths by suicide, especially when the youth are involved, are becoming a family secret, buried deep within their household.
Prevention is the cure
Clinical psychologist and coordinator of suicide prevention at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, John P. Ackerman, pointed out that turning a blind eye on the issue is the least effective means of handling the crisis. It is a mistake where the government and its citizens are investing heavily in crisis care, which is the most expensive way of preventing suicide to happen.
In Ohio, for example, he mentioned that “about 40,000 students have been screened for depression and suicide risk, and hundreds of kids have been linked to services.” Ackerman also added that linking them to helpful services relieves the ideas of suicide attempts because it reduces the risk of these thoughts by talking them through those difficult feelings.
Understanding teen depression
Parents should also be aware that teen years could be extremely tough for their kids. Not everyone can handle all the feelings and emotions that they are going through, and this could result in teenage depression. If it gets worse, this condition could eventually lead to suicide or suicide ideation.
Help Guide, a nonprofit mental health and wellness website, shared that it is estimated that one in five adolescents from all walks of life will suffer from depression at some point in their teenage years. Depression is a treatable condition, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to proper mental health care and thus, they never receive help in the first place.
It should be understood that teen depression goes beyond moodiness and becoming extremely sad. Everyone should know that this condition is a serious mental health problem that could affect everyone, it could take a toll on someone's life and it could shatter a family. There are a lot of ways to prevent suicide among young people, but to cure it, one should take a chance in offering a hand to help their kids go through with the difficult things in their lives.