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Youth Suicide, A Growing Issue On Australian Shores.

825 words - 3 pages

Carefree, well-educated and FULL of potential - that's the youth of the new millennium!Statistically we are living longer and have a better quality of life than past generations. Yet suicide, in PARTICULAR youth suicide, continues to be a major issue on our shores.Although statistics vary from study to study, most informed people agree that youth suicide is a major and increasing problem within the Australian community.Young people aged 15 -24, have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. A closer look at this statistic means that over 2000 people are committing this act each year. After traffic accidents, suicide is the leading cause of death in this age group in Australia - the land we proudly call "young and free".So WHY are the young people of Australia, one of the world's most democratic societies, with plenty of opportunities and freedom, committing suicide?Even with improved management of mental illness, dramatically improved and easily accessible services, increased education and awareness of suicide, and dedicated programs to reduce the rates of suicide, we have still made little impact.This poses the questions-"What social change needs to occur in Australia to reverse this tragic trend?"and"Are we missing something?"It is generally recognised that the factors linked to youth suicide are numerous and complex. Research in the area has been unable to determine exactly why people attempt and commit suicide.The findings show that most youth suicides are the result of, and interaction between, biological, psychological, socio-cultural, and family factors. A suicidal act can be seen as the result of a combination of background, personal and family factors, current emotional state and recent significant events.The "ingredients" required for a completed or attempted suicide vary from individual to individual. There are, however, common risk factors that we do know about.It is estimated that substance abuse occurs in NEARLY A QUARTER of youth suicides.Mood changes are common in teenagers but persistent lowering, or variation of moods may indicate the presence of underlying major depression. Depressed youths, especially males, have a much higher risk of suicide.The risk is further increased if there is a family history of depression and suicide.Adolescence is a period of rapid growth, both physically, cognitively and emotionally. It is a time of stress and confusion for many of us.Family support is particularly important in the normal healthy development of young people. When this support is not...

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