Preventing Youth Suicide Essay

2786 words - 11 pages

Youth suicide is a public health concern. Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among children ages 15-24. Recently, more young people died from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions combined (Miller, Mazza, & Eckert, 2009). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that since the 1950s, the rate of suicide in youth has increased by more than 300 percent (Joe & Bryant, 2007). The number of youth suicides that are reported is actually lower than the actual number of youth suicides. Suggested by the literature, this is due to concern for the family, the social implications, religious views and other factors (Page, 1996). Is suicide preventable? Can we reduce the number of suicide attempts? What role should school professional’s play in the prevention of suicide? Although it is believed that if someone has the idea to commit suicide it will definitely happen, results indicate that the more school professionals that are educated about suicide, the signs and prevention, the more suicides that could be prevented. School professionals can and should be a key aspect in the prevention of youth suicide by knowing the warning signs and knowing how to intervene to prevent an attempt or successful suicide.
In this paper I found three themes, the first theme is causes of suicide, what this theme entails is warning signs of suicide, risks due to school difficulties and risks due to out of school difficulties. The second theme is commonality; what this theme entails is information on suicide attempts, rates of suicide, and differences between males and females. My third theme of this paper has to do with prevention; what this entails is how to prevent attempts of suicide, prevention having to do with students and prevention having to do with school professionals.
Warning Signs
Suicide can be prevented if someone is just paying attention to the signs (King, 1999). For example, nine out of ten individuals who commit suicide give clues to others before a suicide attempt (King, 1999). Warning signs include: rage, anger, seeking revenge; acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking; a feeling of being trapped, as if there is no way out; increasing alcohol or drug use; withdrawing from friends, family, or society; experiencing anxiety and/or agitation; being unable to sleep or sleeping excessively; dramatic mood changes; and perceiving no reason for living or no sense of purpose in life (Miller & Eckert, 2009). It is suggested that youth who speak of suicide should be taken seriously because it is not just talk. Those individuals are the most likely to attempt suicide (King, 1999). Students who are suicidal will try to talk to anyone that will listen about their suicidal thoughts, so people should be available to students and accepting to be that person that the student feels that they can go to (Helsel, 2001). To understand these warning signs, one has to...

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