Suicide Awareness

Suicide Awareness

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death among the United States. (Roxanne Dryden-Edwards) By definition homicide is the killing of a human being by another human being, but suicide is the act of killing oneself intentionally. Suicide awareness needs to be raised by knowing what suicide is, teaching others about suicide, and the effects of suicide. Each year in the United States over 300,000 individuals will attempt suicide, with approximately 32,000 taking their own life. Dana Lizardi) The most common causes of suicide are the breaking up of a romantic relationship, moving, loss (especially if by suicide) of a friend, loss of freedom, or the loss of other privileges. Normally when people hear that someone has committed suicide they automatically think that the person was depressed. Depression is not the only risk factor in suicide. The National Institute of Mental Health says that 90 percent of all suicide “completers” display some form of diagnosed mental disorder such as schizophrenia or bipolar disease. Kendall Harmon) Other major risk factors of suicide are anxiety, stress, eating disorders, and abuse (in family). The biggest contributor to suicide is bullying, or cyber-bullying. A mom of a bullied teen shares her pitied story of how her daughter committed suicide to the Brookfield News. She discovered her 13 year-old daughter Megan hanging in her closet with a suicide note. The note stated that she was being bullied at school by the “popular” girls and boys. This is only one example of bullying that has led to a suicide case. If Megan would have told someone about the kids that bullied her then maybe she would be alive today.

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It needs to get across that snitching isn’t always bad. “The bully bystander needs to stand up. ” (Tine Meier) Suicide is an event that cannot be ignored, minimized, or untreated. The warning signs of suicide are withdrawal from family or peers, use of alcohol and/or drugs, decline in school performance, increased irritability, dramatic change in dress, activities, or friends, discussion of suicide, and changes in sleep or appetite. One method used by some individuals is by threatening police officers, sometimes even with an unloaded gun or a fake weapon.

That is commonly referred to as “suicide by cop. ” Firearms are by far the most common methods by which people take their life, accounting for nearly 60% of suicide deaths per year. (Kendall Harmon) If the United States reduces the number of firearm ownership the overall suicide rate would decrease 2. 5%, or about 800 fewer deaths per year. (Kendall Harmon) When a friend states that he or she wishes they could just die; take them seriously. Many reported suicide cases state that the suicide victim told the peers, but the peers didn’t realize their cry for help.

If a friend going through a tough time in their life the best protective factors would be to listen, care, and make sure they have a strong social support system. An effective treatment for suicide is different types of therapy. There are three types of therapy: group, cognitive, and behavioral. The most common therapy for suicidal cases is group. This not only allows the person to interact with others who have the same problem as they do, but it also allows the person to create new friends. It also makes it easier for them to open up.

For example, a middle-aged guy only went to 5 group therapy sessions after attempting suicide, and to this day he has not attempted taking his own life again. (Dana Lizardi) Coping with the loss of a loved one do to suicide maybe the most difficult thing a parent would have to face. Not only did their child feel hopeless, but the parents also might feel guilty. If only they had let them go to the concert, or if they had let them go to a friend’s to sleepover. The parents of the suicidal child feel as if they had contributed to their child committing suicide. The little things that did not matter, matter now.

Grief is compounded as loved ones are left in a state of sudden shock, struggling to grasp the enormity of such a horrific event. Many of the parents will ask questions like: Did my child really mean to take his or her own life? What could I have done to prevent this? What did we do to cause our child to be so unhappy? Where did we fail as parents? Many parents suffer from the distressing images that accompany finding their child, when it is too late. Some experience other trauma-related symptoms which may include nightmares; reliving the experience over and over, sleep disturbances, ongoing feelings of anxiety, and depression.

Survivors of a child suicide need to be gently helped to accept that their child has chosen to end life because of deep emotional pain. While suicide has put an end to the emotional pain of a child, it is only the beginning of the pain that will be felt by the parents. The aftermath of a child suicide is not the time to offer pat advice. Parents forced to cope with child suicide need a strong support system made up of friends and family who will listen, love, and just “be there” through the initial raw pain of loss.

The awareness of suicide needs to be raised. On average one person dies by suicide every 16. 2 minutes, and attempts suicide every 40 seconds. (Kendall Harmon) The death rate of suicide is far too high for it being a decision made by the victim. If more people were aware of the warning signs, risk factors, and knew what to do in that type of situation the deaths from suicide would decrease by about 700 to 1,000 deaths. (Kendall Harmon) That’s 700 to 1,000 lives we could save just by being aware.


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