Dear Future President,
Suicide is a word that people hear a lot in our time period, but do they know what it really means? Do they understand why people do it? The definition of suicide is the act of intentionally and voluntarily killing oneself (Merriam-Webster), but it goes way deeper than that. The word suicide never goes unnoticed, however it does get ignored. Suicide is a major problem throughout the US, but people decide not to treat it like one. We need to fix this.
Cancer is a major problem that everyone wants to solve. When people hear of someone having cancer it's heartbreaking, as it should be. But what about when people hear about someone having chronic depression or anxiety? Does anyone care about that? No, they don't because it hasn't been advertised the same way cancer has. A diagnosis of cancer may lead to death. Having depression or anxiety could potentially lead to a suicide plan which could end in death. Which one do people pay more attention to? Cancer. 2.3 million people reported having made suicide plans this past year (American Foundation For Suicide Prevention). The amount of new cancer diagnoses in the past year was only 1.6 million(National Cancer Institute). Both lead to death and both are important, but we choose to overlook suicide and focus on "more important" things.
Multiple schools have had teens commit suicide over the last couple of years. Schools know this is a problem, but they continue not to educate students about it because of some myths they are scared of. A common myth is that if you talk about suicide it may make the person want to do it (Durisch). That is not true. If a person is not thinking about it then educating them on it isn't going to change their mind. On the other hand people who may be thinking about it might benefit from someone talking about it. It might show them that people are concerned about it and it may allow them to feel safe enough to talk about it and get the help they need.
People need to feel that they are able to talk about their feelings. Parents need to stop raising their boys to be "tough" men who cannot cry or show emotions. That is not healthy for anyone no matter what age. Kids need to stop bullying girls for looks. One little comment here and there can have a deep effect on a girl's self esteem. Bullying is one of the main reasons for suicide. Females attempt suicide three times as often as males (American Foundation For Suicide Prevention). Most of that has to due with girls being bullied.
There is an average of 117 suicides a day. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US (American Foundation For Suicide Prevention). None of these points seem to matter to people. The individuals who want to commit suicide know that people do not worry about it even though it is such a big deal, and that adds to their hurt. Administrators need to stop focusing on the negative effects that teaching suicide in schools might have and start focusing on all the lives they could potentially save.
People cannot imagine what it is like to have depression or anxiety or be suicidal. The best way to describe it is you feel alone. It is dreary all the time. You exist in a gray world with no excitement. You walk past people and have no emotion towards them. All you think is maybe it's better somewhere else. That is when the suicidal thoughts begin. For me it was I just wanted to go to Heaven, away from all the hurt. That is the main goal for suicidal people. Get away from the hurt. That is all they think about.
Coming from a teen who was suicidal herself, I'm saying that America needs to step up to fix this problem. If it was not for my family telling me it was okay to talk about my feelings I would not be here today. Think about how many lives could be saved if we start educating people on this topic. If America educated people on this topic maybe kids wouldn't be so cruel. The US could be a much more accepting and loving community.