“When we look at causes of death by age, it may surprise many that suicide is the number 2 cause of death for individuals between the ages of 10-24. Suicide is second only to accidental deaths in these age groups. The unfortunate statistic is the increase in suicide rates in these age groups. If we were to just focus on the age group of 15-24, which captures the High School ages, we have seen a large increase in two areas, death by suicide and homicide. The increase has been over 30% since the 2000. Between those two causes in 2017 we lost close to 12,000 youths.”
“Let’s put this in perspective, the recent plane crashes, which have gained national and international attention, had a loss of life for 346 individuals. Yet it was the lead story for a week and caused the grounding of the Boeing airplane. The death totals of 15-24 yo from suicide or homicide would be the equivalent of a plane crashing every six days. Remember this is only looking at this small age group of 15-24 y.o. This sobering fact often will not hit home until you feel the impact of one of these deaths.”
Dr. Kevin Most: “Recognizing PTSD and Suicide Prevention”
Call to Action
There are some teens and children who are on medicine to help with mental illness. That’s great. A positive step in the right direction. But nothing can compare to someone close to the child making observations, talking, listening, and giving a hug.
If you have children in that age range, please keep an eye on them. All it takes is being unfriended, bullied, made fun of, dumped, or just plain rejected to push someone over the edge who is contemplating suicide.
Please leave your comments below or you can send me a private email to email@example.com.
- Do you know someone with a mental illness? What is your relationship like? How do you make it work? Have you ever said something offensive? How did you get through that?
- Do you know someone who committed suicide or attempted suicide? Were they getting help at the time of the suicide or attempt? How did that affect you?
- Have you thought about committing suicide or attempting suicide? Are you getting help? If not, do you know where to go? How can you reach out for help?