Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Standing on the Razor's Edge: Teenage Suicide

Emerging from the shadows, the "noble warrior" begins his final approach. Beyond the occasional glance and sneer, his peers are oblivious to his existence. He takes a final look back, remembering every face that ever said or did anything to hurt him. From the rooftop, he throws off his book bag and head phones, and takes a final look down. There is still time to turn back, but he is the only one who can make that decision, the final fate, is left to him. This is the story of the teenager in Rush's video for "The Pass", one of the many teenagers who stand on the brink of becoming another suicide statistic.

Suicide rate among the 10-24 age group, rose 8% between 2003-2004. This, following a 28% decline from 1990-2003. A survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of students in grades 9-12, identified 17% of those surveyed as "seriously considered" suicide, 13% having created a plan, and 8% having attempted suicide in the twelve months preceding the survey. If you are an educator, a teenager, or a parent of a teenager, there is a good chance you have been recently affected by teenage suicide. While many factors can lead one to choose suicide, isolation and depression continue to be the most common. As discussed in the "Subdivisions" blog, isolation and depression is not something new to teenagers. While many are able to overcome feelings of depression and isolation, what factors are affecting more teenagers to choose suicide than in previous years? What are some effective strategies to better identify and help those who may be on the brink of becoming another statistic? Maybe some of us have done time in the gutter, perhaps our experiences, when shared with someone in a similar place, can help them to see that they are not alone.

Video for "The Pass" can be found here:

For more information on teen suicide:

1 comment:

  1. I believe that suicidal thoughts are rooted in the feeling that the person is misunderstood, and/or feels that there is no one there for them. Additionally there are those in their teen-aged years who are suffering from psychiatric conditions that aren't diagnosed such as major depression, a bipolar disorder, or other such ailments. We're seeing children being all but ignored, who live in the lap of luxury yet emotionally, they have nothing. We're "losing the race to rats." I chose not to be in the rat race. My husband and I were rearing 7 chidren on one salary. I was there for the children in every way they needed. It's just much harder now that my husband has died, just because of the dearth of time to meet each child's emotional needs as a single parent. And there are a lot of single parents in our society. Parenting requires quality time, yes, but I believe it's the "quantity time" that is lacking in our society. Adolescents need their parents as much as an infant does, but not for just the basic, tangible need of an infant--they also need a loving, close relationship with their parents so that they can go to their parents when they are troubled without fear of an unpleasant reaction. Certainly this isn't the only cause of suicidal ideation, or a panacea, but it is a place to start.