Emmaline Kent Massachusetts

Depression and Suicide

There are over 7 billion people on the earth, so why do so many people feel alone?

Dear Sir or Madame President,

My name is Emmaline Kent and I am a ninth grader at Nimpuc Regional High School in Upton, Massachusetts. I am writing to you to not only congratulate you on winning the Presidential Election, but to also inform you about a growing problem in the U.S., teen depression and suicide. I believe we need to address this issue because the deaths caused by suicide has risen so rapidly in the past couple of years that according to WebMD.com, "suicide is the third leading cause of death among people between ages 15 and 24, with about 5,000 lives lost each year." This is far too big a number of people who feel killing themselves is the only way out.

I believe the first step in helping to reduce this number is to educate people on what depression and suicide is. Many people may not know how to help because they simply don't understand the depressed thoughts or suicidal feelings running through a teenagers' mind. Depression, by definition, is "feelings of severe despondency and dejection" or in simpler terms, feeling hopeless and lonely. But for me, depression is so much more than that. It is the loss of interest to be with people who you love and doing things you love and it is also the lack of motivation, from everything to getting schoolwork done to taking care of yourself. These feelings can weigh a person down so much so, some people turn to self harm. Suicide is the most tragic outcome of self harm, it is the act of taking one's own life purposefully. Some teenagers believe suicide is the only answer and this Mr. or Mrs. President is what we need to fix. We need to not just tell, but show these teens that they are not alone and that death is not a option. My question for you is why is it, that there are almost 8 billion people on this earth and yet so many of them feel so alone?

This brings me to my second order of business, what actions we can take. Knowing the signs that some one is suicidal or depressed and needs help is very important. People should know to look for differences in mood or attitude, changes in appetite, or notice any physical wounds (of self harm or abuse etc.). The way we proceed from there can save a life. Thing as little as sitting or talking with the person at lunch to telling a trusted adult can help. We must remember that no act of kindness is too small.

Finally, as President it is your duty to recognize that ignoring a problem will not make it go away. Many people believe depression is just an excuse for teens to gain attention and that it is not a serious illness. Depression affects more than 15 million Americans each year and turning away from those who are seeking help and from those who are scared to ask for it will solve nothing. We need to stand, as the United States that we are, up against depression and suicide. Thank for your time.

Emmaline Kent

Nimpuc Regional High School

Upton, Massachusetts 

Works Cited

"Cause of Depression: Learn the Main Causes of Depression - MedicineNet." MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

"Facts & Statistics." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

"Facts & Statistics." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

"Suicide and Depression: Risk Factors and Warning Signs of Suicide." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

"Teen Suicide Risk Factors and Prevention." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

"The Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in the U.S." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.

Nipmuc High School

A Block WEX II

Honors Class

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