Did you know that the number of teens who have be hospitalized for attempted suicide or suicidal thoughts has doubled since 2008. Around the world, every 90 minutes a teenager takes his/her life and there is over 5000 teenage suicides each year. Half of those lives are not taken because of family issues at home, but because of bullying in all types of forms, social media, loved ones and close friends lost. A person who dies by suicide leaves behind friends and family who try to make sense of a senseless and purposeless act.
The sad part of a young person dying because of overwhelming despair or frustration is devastating to family, friends, and the community. People who were close to or knew the victim might be left wondering if they could have done something to prevent that young person from turning to suicide. People can learn more about what might lead a teen to suicide to help stop further tragedies. Even though it’s not always escapable, it’s always a good idea to be aware and take action to help a distressed teenager.
Lucrecia Sjoerdsma knew what to watch for when it came to suicide, signs were lingering moodiness, and the sudden disinterest in what once brought joy. Lucrecia had a daughter, Riley Winters, a 15 year old who loved to show of her perfect teeth. “Her smile really matched her personality,” says Lucrecia. Riley seemed to be a happy and kind person and could always sense when others were feeling upset or down.
She almost always could find a way to cheer them up. Riley enjoyed outdoor activities and wanted to join the military or become an archeologist. Riley’s mother, Lucrecia, felt that she needed address her about suicide, but little did she know that Riley was having problems of her own. In the years 2013 to 2015, twenty-nine kids in their county had killed themselves, and a handful of them had went to Riley’s school. She knew a boy and a girl that had killed themselves the previous winter before.
Suicide started to become an outbreak and a plague spreading through the hallways of her school. A year after her mother had spoken to her about suicide, Riley was staying at her dad’s house when she drank a small bottle of alcohol and sent out multiple text messages saying, “I’m sorry it had to be me”. She stole her father’s gun, snuck out into the woods and shot herself in the head. A few days after Riley’s death a student of her school killed himself, nine days after that yet another student committed suicide. It wasn’t the end of it: five students from their school that had 1,180 students, killed themselves in less than a year. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among American adolescents
Suicide is shattering and the effects of suicide on loved ones and family members, of the person who had committed suicide, can be dreadful. Those whose attempts that do not work are known as suicide survivors and while this is very difficult to comprehend, it is possible to restore ones well-being and move forward. When a loved ones dies by suicide, many ask themselves why? Was it my fault? Was I failing as a parent? Many questions are asked and people start to wonder why they didn’t see the warning signs. They can become angry or resentful at the person who has chosen to take his/ hers life. Getting help as soon as a teen shows signs of suicidal thoughts or actions, can save their life. Taking preventive measures such as; interacting with them positively, increasing his/her participation in activities and monitoring their whereabouts and communications. Can help them stop something that they’ll regret and can’t come back from once it’s done.
Suicide is a very crucial topic that should taken very seriously when involving oneself in a teen’s life. Teen suicide can be provoked by many things and it is important to be able to acknowledge the warning signs that can lead to an attempted or successful taking of a life. Teen’s commit suicide for many reasons including feeling depressed and hopeless. There are multiple ways that you can help a teen if they’re at risk of attempting suicide: call a doctor, remove any dangerous items from the household, and talk to them blatantly about their problems. Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States. Together we can reduce that statistic and save lives!