1. 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide

1.    
Introduction

Suicide
is defined by Youthline (2014, p .1) as
“the act of intentionally killing oneself”. It can be stated that suicide now
is becoming a serious health issue in many countries with nearly 80,000 deaths
each year worldwide, means that every 40
seconds, someone dies by suicide (WHO, n.d). This increasing number of death
cases puts suicide becoming the tenth leading cause of death in United State
and the third leading cause of death among teenagers between the age from 10 to 14 (Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 2015). The statistic of Carroll (2017) estimated that between 2007
and 2015, suicide rates of teen boys rocketed from 10.8 to 14.2 per 100,000 and
from 2.4 to 5.1 per 100,000 in teen girls. These number are really need to be
concerned because it prove that  suicide
attempts not only appear in adult minds but also affect the thinking of
adolescents. This paper is aimed at raising awareness about teenage suicide,
including its causes and solutions,
as well as giving useful advice to help teenagers overcome suicide attempts and
suicide behaviors.

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2.    
Discussion
of findings

2.1.        
Background
information of teenage suicide

Teenage suicide or suicidal adolescent is “the loss of
life among the young” (Kok & Goh, 2011, para. 2). According
to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), suicide is a growing
health issue which has significant impacts in the life of young people, becoming the third main reason for death of
young adults between 10 and 24 years old.

Shocking
statistics have been published to describe how serious this matter is.  Each year, there were nearly 4,600 adolescent
suicide cases occurred worldwide and this number has increased almost threefold
since the 1940s (Centers for Disease Control, 2015). According to the alarming
statistics from Psychology Benefits Society (2013), each day there are about 12
young people die by self-killing methods and meanwhile, 25 suicide ideations
are created. Over the last few decades, a climbing trend of teenage suicide has
been noticed and reported not only in developed countries but also in some poor
nations. In Malaysia, nearly 7% of adolescents attempted suicide and had
self-killing ideation (Kok & Goh, 2011). This number does not different
much in U.S, with 14.5% of students between the ages 14 to 17 told that they
usually had suicide thought and even turned them into actions (Cash &
Bridge, 2009). There is more, as reported by Youthline (2014), suicide trend in
New Zealand had taken life of 124 teenagers in 2011, ranked secondly compared
with other countries in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – OEDC. These rates was totally
shocking and need to be worried. Lubin et al. (2001) and Bilic et al. (2002)
(as cited in Chatterjee & Basu, 2010) shared the same opinion that the
datas of deaths from suicide were varied from many nations, however, this
rising number among adolescents was universally similar.

Additionally, there were a huge gap in suicide rate between young male
and young female. “Boys are more likely than girls to
die from suicide”, Centers for Disease Control (2015, para. 4) stated in their report.
While suicide actions are more common in boys, girls tend to have a higher number
of suicide attempts and thinking than boys, Centers for Disease Control also wrote. Cash and Bridge (2009, para.
3) shared the same thinking with this idea, they said “While
suicide rates are higher among boys than girls,
girls have higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide”. Another agreement of this opinion belongs to Youthline
(2014) as they admited that
young male had been
a high risk group since 1967, with the number of this group’s deaths increased
three-time higher than young female group. The mysterious reasons for this huge
gap was explained by Durkheim’s statement (1951, as cited in Kok & Goh,
2011) that the emotions of male adolescents always easier affected than female
teenagers, resulted in higher risk of suicide. The male tend to keep their
personal secrets for
themselves and have less
conversation with anothers
about their problems, unlike girls, they usually run away from their
difficulties by actual suicide actions (Koh & Goh, 2011).

It
is obviously that deaths of young people can bring the grief and pain to their
families, friends and
communities, even caused the loss of 
money in economy of the country (Youthline, 2014).

2.2.        
Possible
causes of teenage suicide

“Risk
factors – things that increase the likelihood that a child will engage in
suicidal behavior”, Kaslow (n.d, para. 2) defined. Recently, number of reasons
for the prevalence of suicide ideation among teenagers have been found. In the
research of Kok and Goh (2011), they discovered three main reasons for youth suicide by
investigating 270 young people’s perspectives in West Malaysia. These factors
including family problems, conflict in romantic relationship and pressure of academic performance. The suprising result was
that problems in a boy-girls relationship became the first leading causes of
suicide in both sexes, while family issues and academic factors only ranked
second and third, respectively. Another report from Chatterjee and Basu (2010)
indicated a similar situation in India where troubles in love was chosen as one
of the main  reasons for self-killing
thought by 63% of young female participants. Also in this report, Chatterjee an
Basu described sad love events as factors which evoke depression, loneliness
and stress in youth mental health, leading to what we call “suicide behavior”.

Family
is also one of the main contributors related to suicide actions among this
vulnerable group. Family factors including loss of family connection or family
members, family history of suicide, parent’s divorce and parent’s poor caring (Bridge et al., 2006, as
cited in Cash & Bridge, 2009). Brent and Mann (2005, as cited in Cash &
Bridge, 2009) strongly believed that suicide attempt can be transferred from
parents to children in a “genetic” ways. Nevertheless, US Department of Health
and Human Services (n.d, as cited in Howard, 2017) and Poijula, Wahlberg and
Dyregrow (2001, as cited in Youthline, 2014) agrued that it is the copycat
effects, not about the heredity. To be specific, both views described suicide
“infection” within family as the reaction after seeing one of the closest
family members has suicide behaviors or ideation and then imitate it. Another
suicide risk factor associated to family is family status. Children under the
age of 16 whose family was broken or living with single parent were reported
being more likely to face with mental health illness, leading to suicide
actions (Cash & Bridge, 2009). Moreover, lack of connection between
parent-child relationship can be a source of anxiety, loneliness and stress
among this group. The reasons were indicated by Kok and Goh (2011) that many
modern parents now are busier with work and left their child alone with their
emotions.

Last
but not least, academic achievement can also be one of the barrier that many
adolescents have to face these days. In China, a large number of students insisted
that they usually feel pressure with their academic performance as their
parents always have a high expectation on them (Kok & Goh, 2011). This
pressure does not appear only in study environment of Chinese students  but also happen in many schools in Korea. Described
by Hong (n.d, as cited in CNN, 2011), a huge number of mistaken thinking about
money and position in society from parents have been poured into Korean
students mind since they were just a little child. Consequently, these students
start to believe that study is the only way to become success and begin to feel
like a burden if they can not please their parents.

Cash and Bridge (2011) also gave out
some possible causes of pediatric suicide in their article such as alcohol and
drug use, history of being abused, frequent change place of living, negative
reaction of parents about homosexual children, being bullied by peers (include cyber
bullying) and media effects. In addition, some reliable evidences about the effect of puberty influencing
suicide thought in female teenagers have also been found (Lamis, n.d, as cited
in Scutti, 2017).  The most common point
between these risk factors is that they all link to mental disorders, which increased
the rate of suicide ideation and behaviors among adolescents.

2.3.        
Common
methods of teenage suicide

Examing
the ways of suicide in teenagers, Bridge, Goldstein and Brent (2006, as cited
in Cash & Bridge, 2009)  introduced
firearms as the leading method of suicide for youth in America to put an end to
their life, followed by asphyxia and self-poisoning.

As
firearms were chosen by many adolescents in suicide actions, Caroll (2017)
shared his own view about the “popular” of this method. He said “most suicides
are impulsive” (para. 13), most of suicide decisions come suddenly and they
these people know that only firearms are “devastatingly efficient” (Caroll,
2017, para.14). According to another statistic of Caroll, over 85% of completed
teenage suicide related to gun while self-poisoning made up much less
percentage. All these figure mean that having access to gun or owning a gun in
house can increase the number of successful suicide cases among young people.

2.4.        
Solutions
for teenage suicide

While
the suicide rates among youth keep increasing and talking about suicide
prevention is difficult, there are still some effective solutions have been found to reduce this problem.
Suicide behavior is still a large taboo subject and not easy to treat in young
people, therefore, it usually requires treatments which different from adults
(Youthline, 2014).

In the survey of Kok and Goh
(2011), they asked 270
youth aged 15-24 about the first person they would talk to when they had
encountered suicide thoughts and the result was surprised everyone. While peers
and family members made up almost 46% and 33% of the answer from these
youngster, respectively, teachers seem to be the least common source. After
viewing this result, it is obviously that peers and family are the most
reliable source of help and have a significant impact on the thinking of youth
as they “serve as guides and role models” (Kok & Goh, 2011, p. 36). 

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