Dear Future President,
Suicide is not something that can be over looked. It is the third leading cause of death in people aged 15-24 after homicide and unintentional injury, according to the Disease Control and Prevention. Even worse it is the fourth leading cause of death amongst people aged 10-14. And is Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the US alone. Each year 42,773 Americans die by suicide. Suicide costs the US $ 44 billion annually. Teen suicide is becoming a major issue in the United States today with males making up 84% of suicides. The suicide rate is rising, and has become a major concern for many. I am afraid to know that something that can be easily prevented is the one of the leading causes of deaths among preteens and teens.
Attempted suicides actually outnumber suicides. In a 2009 survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.3% of high school students have attempted suicide. To prevent suicide, it is important to know what leads to it, and how to treat the causes.
There are many risk factors that can contribute to suicide. Pressure put on teens, like fitting in socially and performing academically, that causes them stress and worry, usually they cannot handle since they have never faced it before. Bullying is also a major factor in putting suicidal thoughts into teens minds, making feel emotionally and physically abused. Major life changes can also cause suicide such as parents divorcing, abuse, or death of someone close to the teen causing them stress and major pressure. This puts thoughts into the teens' mind that they are different and don't fit in to our society, but the most common cause is depression, those who have depression have feelings of hopelessness or anxiety and feel they cannot be saved. Sometimes teenagers think suicide is the only way to solve their problems, when it most certainly it is not.
It is important to know what are the major signs of teens having suicidal thoughts. The most common signs to look for are they talk about death or suicide, even in a joking manner, says that nobody cares for him/her, has attempted suicide in the past, lose interest in their favorite activities, or shows signs of depression. Look and listen for these signs especially after a major stressful life event like a breakup, a divorce, or a major family conflict. What is difficult about some of these signs is that some look like normal teenager behavior.
I fear for my friends' lives and wonder if they will be here the next day or not. I never want to lose them since they support me in life. So what will you do to lower or even stop the high rates of suicide among preteens and teens?