Search Blog Content

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Teen Suicide Statistics - An Epidemic Of Self Inflicted Death Among Canadian Youth

By: Beverly OMalley

The Canadian teen suicide statistics are alarming. Between 1952 and 1992 the national suicide rate increased by 78%. but by comparison the teen suicide rate for the same period increased more than 600%. If any disease or bacteria was causing such an alarming rise in the number of deaths it would surely be considered an epidemic.

Females account for 75% of attempted suicides, usually by drug overdose. But males are actually six times more likely to be successful and choose more violent methods such as shooting or hanging. About one-third of teen suicides are done by young people who have attempted it before.

Suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations teens than other young people in Canada. The suicide rates amongst the Inuit youth are some of the highest anywhere in the world. They are 11 times higher than the Canadian national average.

Who is at risk for suicide?

Most of the signs of suicidal thoughts or feelings are similar to the symptoms of depression. Adolescents who feel alone, rejected, and hopeless are at risk. Alcohol or drug problems and parental discord (separation or divorce) can definitely play a part in teenage depression. Teenagers who have altered brain chemical issues, such as bi-polar disorder, are at a higher risk as well.

Watch for these signs.

You cannot always know what is going on inside a teenager's head, but you can see some outward signs of what is going on emotionally. An obsession with death; poems, stories, or drawings that depict death; irrational, bizarre behavior; a sudden change in personality or appearance; a change in eating or sleeping habits; major drop in school performance; giving away their belongings; a seeming sense of shame or guilt. These are all things to watch for as they are clues that a teenager is contemplating suicide.

Talking helps

Talking about suicide will not increase the likelihood that the teen will proceed with the intent. If you think someone you know is considering suicide you must talk with them about it.

Here is what you can say:

"You sound really depressed and unhappy. Are you considering hurting yourself (or killing yourself)?"

If the person answers in the affirmative ask them about how they plan to do it. Keep the person talking and reassure them that they way they are feeling is not a permanent state.

A teenager who is suicidal is not intent on dying. He just wants the suffering to end. He cannot talk himself out of how he is feeling or simply make the bad thoughts go away by thinking positive things. He is depressed.

People who are suicidal need your help and support but they also need professional help. If your friend was bleeding or suffering an acute infection you would not want to leave him unattended and you would help him to get medical attention.

If you or someone you know is thinking suicidal thoughts go and ask for some help from your parents, a teacher, or a trusted adult.

Most communities also have suicide or crisis hotlines that you can phone and talk to someone about how you are feeling. You can even phone this number to ask for help in dealing with a friend that you suspect to be suicidal.

Reaching out for help in situations of potential teen suicide is the first step on the path to healing.

Article Source:
About the Author:
Beverly Hansen OMalley is a health promotion specialist. At Bev explores the uniqueness of the nursing profession in Canada including comparison of the nursing entrance tests for the US and Canada, and registered nurse salaries across the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment