Changing the conversation about Teen Suicide

By Ivy Potter -

Although the Netflix Series “13 Reasons Why” is perhaps one of the most controversial shows still in production, the theme the show attempts to tackle is one that we as a society have often ignored or neglected entirely; Teen Suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate for white children and teens between the ages of 10 and 17 were up 70% between 2006-2016. Suicide rates for black children and teens, however lower than white children, increased by 77% in the same time frame.

A Study of Pediatric Hospitals in May 2017 revealed that children ages 5-17 being admitted for suicidal thoughts or actions doubled from May 2008-2015.

Information from the American Foundation for suicide prevention showed that approximately 123 suicides occur per day in the United States, with males committing these acts 3.53 times more than females. In our County, and in neighboring counties, when a child or young person decides to take their own life the community is left to grieve. The family and friends affected by the suicide are left with questions, in which there seem to be no answers, perhaps the most frequent being simply “Why?”.

The American Foundation for suicide prevention reminds individuals that there is no single cause to suicide, stating that it most often occurs when stressors exceed current coping abilities of someone suffering from a mental health condition. While there are hundreds of hotlines, informative websites, and avenues available where an individual contemplating suicide can reach out for help, it is still important to create an open conversation about suicide with loved ones. Adults should encourage preteens and teens to alert them if they ever feel in despair or know someone who sounds hopeless. It is important to pay attention, communicate caring, and redirect to professional help.

By Ivy Potter

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932

Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932