Youth suicide is the act of a young person intentionally ending his or her life. This is most common in societies where the age of majority has not yet been reached. Statistics about youth suicide show that the rate is high, both in Western countries and developing nations. To understand this problem, it helps to first define what is youth suicide.
The rate of suicide among youth has increased sharply in the United States since the 1950s. While this is often attributed to an increase in depression, it has a variety of other explanations as well. Researchers have tried to determine whether or not broad environmental changes may be responsible for this increase. For instance, in one study, researchers found that removing psychopathology in children would prevent 78% of youth suicides.
Another possible cause for youth suicide is the disintegration of the family unit. The dissolution of the family unit has been linked to a wide range of youth problem behaviors, including drug abuse and suicide. Beginning in the 1960s, the Western world underwent a psychosocial revolution, embracing more sexual freedom and changing expectations of relationships. This change may have contributed to the rise of youth suicide. The resulting social and emotional discord in youth is believed to be the major cause of these problems.
Another factor that can reduce the risk of suicide among youth is good problem-solving skills and strong attachments. These attributes can help kids overcome the challenges and struggles they face, and they can also feel supported by their families. Additionally, limited access to lethal suicide means can also reduce the risk. Cultural beliefs may also discourage young people from taking their own lives. If these factors are in place, it is important to seek treatment. There are several programs available that can help prevent youth suicide.
Other risk factors for youth suicide include depression, genetic loading and previous suicide attempts. In addition to mental disorders, there are also specific personality characteristics that may increase the risk of youth suicide. Another factor is exposure to inspiring models and the availability of suicide methods. These factors can be reduced through integrated multi-sector initiatives. For example, youth must be protected from social discrimination.
Suicide prevention in youth is a pressing issue. To help prevent suicide, prevention programs should identify risk factors, identify protective factors and address them. Teachers, parents, and family members can play a critical role in helping young people develop these protective factors. For example, educators and caregivers can provide emotional support and help develop coping skills.
It is also important to know how to identify and recognize the warning signs of youth suicide. Many parents have trouble identifying the symptoms of youth suicide and cannot understand how to help their kids cope. Parents should talk with their adolescent child and seek help. A good way to start is to ask for a consultation with a mental health professional. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are often cyclical and often difficult to identify.
If you have any suspicions that your child might be suicidal, you should get them help immediately. It is vital that they talk to a trusted adult who will not judge them or act as a tattle-tale. They will be relieved to know that someone is willing to help them. It can save their lives!
A common risk factor for suicide is depression. Children who have this condition are more likely to attempt suicide. It is important to identify depression early in a child’s life. There are many ways to do this. In addition to pediatricians and other professionals who work with youth, parents and peer groups can also identify young people who might be at risk of suicide.
The Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Mental Health have numerous resources on the subject. They also provide links to statistical databases, including the YRBSS and WISQARS. A recent article in the Journal of Adolescent Health details trends in the number of suicidal thoughts and attempts among young people. In addition, the National Violent Death Reporting System provides information about suicide prevention and treatment. Lastly, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health have helpful resources on youth suicide.
Suicide rates differ considerably between regions. In Europe, the number of youth suicide deaths is the second leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29. Europe’s rate is slightly higher than the world average, but is not particularly high. The rate is lower in the Mediterranean countries and the Western and Northern European regions.