Essay from Keith Rankin. Subject Youth Suicide is it out of control and if so why?
Suicide is the second highest cause of death of young people aged between 15 and 24 in Australia at this time. For every completed suicide, there are often between 20 and 100 attempts that are attempted. However many are successful after only one attempt.
In economical terms, adolescent suicides cost over $100 million per year to the Australian Economy. By researching information on the internet and reading four books I have attempted to briefly summarise why this is happening and what can be done,
if anything, to assist in combating this sad situation.
Why This Is Happening?
There are many theories as to why there is a rise in youth suicide and no one theory may be right or wrong. While youth now have a wealth of technology readily available, many have forgotten how to make their own fun, to be satisfied with who and what they are and often have unreal expectations placed upon them or at least in their eyes.
They see a world of war, selfishness, mainly negative images on the television news and violent and often unreal images of life portrayed in many programs viewed.
Many parents are both working and have little time to spend with their children, as they are busy building up their material wealth in this material world.
Many children feel alienated from the family unit, alone, scared and lost.
They see the negative things around them everywhere, with little chance of employment when they leave school and they feel little chance of being able to provide for themselves, let alone a family in their future. They often feel fear and have no control anymore.
Death is the only way to find peace!
How Can This Be Dealt With?
This question of dealing with rises in suicide is very hard to answer as there are many reasons as to why.
As already stated too many choose to walk that path as a way to end pain in what are very uncertain times to many. If those who are suffering these emotions choose to seek help, then help must be readily available from the services put in place by Government and Volunteer organisations.
Maybe we have to understand as to why this is happening in our modern society?
Perhaps even we need to go back to Traditional Family Values again?
Nobody has all the answers as to how we can overcome these issues.
Who Can Assist?
To help, these people becoming depressed, we need to have programs in schools assisting with self-esteem teaching. Visits from Mental Health teams to explain to youth what is available for them and who to turn to in times of crisis.
There are toll free help lines, many internet sites for those in need, and of course the mental health system. Unfortunately, due to tight funding policies of the government and a lack of trained staff in these areas, there are long waiting lists for appointments.
Society needs to be made aware, leading to awareness programs for parents and caregivers, the signs that they need to be aware of with youth to act upon before it is too late, and another life is lost.
What Can Society Do?
Society has to be made aware that mental heath problems are just as real as physical heath problems are , and to stop ` sweeping certain things that happen, under the carpet`.
We as people in society need to be aware that modern society, for all people, especially children growing up with often unreal expectations put upon them, is a reality.
We all should know were to contact those who can assist with these issues of suicide prevention. Prevention is often better than the cure, and if people are no longer living, then there is no cure for them.
Where Can They Receive Help?
Youth can receive help from school counsellors and chaplains, if they choose to do so and it is important that children, while at school, are told, of the options open to them and not be afraid to ask. Firstly, they have to get over the stigma that many have been brought up with that certain things are not to be said and feelings should be hidden.
Often people do not notice or want to notice signs of depression and suicide.
When people feel it is safe to open up and ask for help, then they can receive help and only then.
When Can A Plan Be Put Into Action?
Only when society as a whole accepts that there is a problem and wish to join in to assist, can working plans be fully put into action. A major shift in the thinking of many in modern society needs to take place and then all who are in authority now may need to get together to work out further strategies to add to and expand what is now in place.
Society needs to accept there is a problem, and then be prepared to work on the problem.
Which Would Be The Best Place To Teach Youth?
By parents explaining the heartache caused by suicide to friends and family in the home.
Parents can work to be sure that their children are allowed and feel accepted to talk in the family unit and share what they are feeling , knowing they will be respected and listened to. At school where presentations by community health and all other services having knowledge and skills in working with children and youth.
At youth drop in centres, where they can have help and counselling.
Advertisements on television and at movie theatres and in shopping malls we wherever youth can see and find help when they need it.
For Those Who Are Suffering Suicidal Thoughts.
You need to hear that people do get through this. Even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now.
There is a very good chance that you are going to live.
Give yourself some distance and say to yourself .” I will wait 24 hours before I do anything.”
People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain.
Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it.
You will not feel that relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.
There are people out there who can help you in this horrible time.
Call on them for help as you are important in this life.
The four books that I have read and sites from the internet and other articles I have researched, do not really give any great insights to me as why suicide among youth is increasing. There are not real solid areas of proof as to why as opinions conflict.
Most of what I have drawn on is from my own personal experiences as a survivor of suicide and from talking with others who have depression, or have suffered, or have overcome depression in their lives.
I feel that this quote summarizes the whole article as to why suicide happens.
“Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain”.
References used in this essay are as follows.
World wide web .Suicide read this first.
Copyright 1995-2003 Martin Ainsworth.
The suicide generation
September 1992 “When Someone You Love Has A Mental Illness”
Youth Suicide in Australia Prevention strategies.
Published Commonwealth department of health and family services.
Copyright 1997 ISBN 0 644 475 595 1
Second Printing 1997.
Hearing The Cry suicide prevention.
Book available .Written by Margaret Appleby.
· Appleby, Margaret and Condonis, Margaret (1990) "Hearing the Cry: Suicide Prevention", Rose Education Training and Consultancy, Narellan, NSW
· Clark, Sheila (1995) "After Suicide: Help for the Bereaved" Hill of Content Publishing Company Pty Ltd, Melbourne
Friday, 14 March 2008