The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) says that teen suicide prevention is a priority of the highest order. It has become one of the main causes of death among young people, but researchers hope that active efforts to prevent it will give results.
• Every 12.5 minutes an American commits suicide.
• A million Americans attempt suicide every year and 40,000 of them are successful.
• Mental illnesses and mental disorders are the main risk factors for suicide.
Earlier this month, on September 20, news broke that a 19 year old student went into a Philadelphia hotel, took the elevator up, got off on the fourth floor, grabbed a nearby trashcan, used it to break the corridor window, then jumped out and fell to his death.
Researchers from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention inform that such incidents are more common than people think. According to them, every 12.5 minutes an American ends her or his life, leading up to about 40,000 people who die by their own hand, on a yearly basis.
Statistically speaking, suicide has now become the tenth main cause of death in the United States. But an even more alarming fact is that suicide has become the second main cause of death among teens and young adults with the age between 10 and 24.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, field experts also inform that suicide rates are on the rise, and suicide deaths have already surpassed car crash deaths. But even though there are 40,000 people who actually succeed in committing suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that there are about one million who attempt to take their own lives on a yearly basis.
These are only a few of the reasons why September has been dubbed “Suicide Prevention Awareness Month”. Field experts want to use this time of the year to “help promote resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention, how you can help others, and how to talk about suicide without increasing the risk of harm”.
The two (2) main risk factors of suicide are depression and anxiety. Gregg Zoroya from USA Today explained in an article that 90 percent (90%) of all Americans who attempt suicide suffer from some kind of mental illness or disorder.
As for young people in particular, statistics have shown that about 95 percent (95%) of teens who attempt to take their own lives have a psychological disorder, with depression being the most common one.
Signs of depression include feeling increasingly sad or hopeless, exhibiting high levels irritability / anger / hostility, frequently crying or bursting into tears in odd moments, lack of enthusiasm for activities the person once enjoyed, withdrawal from friends and family members, a drastic increase or decrease in eating and sleeping, trouble focusing on daily tasks / work / homework, persistent feeling of worthlessness, dialog suggesting that they aren’t long for this world.
Sixteen percent (16%) of all high school students have considered committing suicide at one point or another, 13 percent (13%) of these students have created a plan for their attempt, and 8 percent (8%) of them actually followed their plan within a year.
Overall, America loses about 5,000 young people to suicide, on a yearly basis. Most of the victims are boys, however girls are generally more open to talk about considering it or attempting it.