1. IntroductionSuicideis defined by Youthline (2014, p .1) as”the act of intentionally killing oneself”. It can be stated that suicide nowis becoming a serious health issue in many countries with nearly 80,000 deathseach year worldwide, means that every 40seconds, someone dies by suicide (WHO, n.
d). This increasing number of deathcases puts suicide becoming the tenth leading cause of death in United Stateand the third leading cause of death among teenagers between the age from 10 to 14 (Centers for Disease Control andPrevention, 2015). The statistic of Carroll (2017) estimated that between 2007and 2015, suicide rates of teen boys rocketed from 10.
8 to 14.2 per 100,000 andfrom 2.4 to 5.1 per 100,000 in teen girls. These number are really need to beconcerned because it prove that now suicide attempts not only appear in adultminds but also affect the thinking of adolescents. This paper is aimed at raisingawareness about teenage suicide, including its causes, methods and solutions, as well asgiving useful advice to help teenagers overcome suicide attempts and suicidebehaviors.2.
Discussionof findings2.1. Backgroundinformation of teenage suicideTeenage suicide or suicidal adolescent is “the loss oflife among the young” (Kok & Goh, 2011, para. 2). Accordingto Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), suicide is a growinghealth issue which has significant impacts in the life of young people, becomethe third main reason for death of young adults between 10 and 24 years old.Shockingstatistics have been published to describe how serious this matter is. Each year, there were nearly 4,600 adolescentsuicide cases occurred worldwide and this number has increased almost threefoldsince the 1940s (Centers for Disease Control, 2015).
According to the alarmingstatistics from Psychology Benefits Society (2013), each day there are about 12young people die by self-killing methods and meanwhile, 25 suicide ideationsare created. Over the last few decades, a climbing trend of teenage suicide hasbeen noticed and reported not only in developed countries but also in some poornations. In Malaysia, nearly 7% of adolescents attempted suicide and had self-killingideation (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 hadsuicide thoughts and even turned them into actions (Cash & Bridge, 2009).There is more, as reported by Youthline (2014), suicide trend in New Zealandhad taken life of 124 teenagers in 2011, ranked secondly compared with othercountries in Organisationfor Economic Co-operation and Development – OEDC.
These rates was totally shocking and need to beworried. 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 suicidewere varied from many nations, however, this rising number among adolescentswas universally similar. Additionally, there were a huge gap in suicide rate between young maleand young female. “Boys are more likely than girls todie from suicide”, Centers for Disease Control (2015, para. 4) stated in their report.They also showed the number of male teenagers’s death accounted for about 81%while female teenagers’s death only made up 19%. While suicide actions are morecommon in boys, girls tend to have a higher number of suicide attempts andthinking than boys, Centers for Disease Control wrote. Cash and Bridge (2009,para. 3) also shared the same thinking with Centers for Disease Control, they said”While suicide rates are higher among boys than girls, girls have higher rates of suicidalideation and attempted suicide”.
This idea was totally argreed by Youthline(2014) that young male is a high risk group since 1967, with the number of thisgroup’s deaths increased three-time higher than young female group. Themysterious reasons for this huge gap was explained by Durkheim’s statement (1951,as cited in Kok & Goh, 2011) that the emotions of male adolescents alwayseasier affected than female teenagers, resulted in higher risk of suicide. Themale tend to keep their personal secretsforthemselves and have lessconversation with anothersabout their problems, unlike girls, they usually run away from theirdifficulties by actual suicide actions (Koh & Goh, 2011).Itis obviously that deaths of young people can bring the grief and pain to theirfamilies, friends, communities, even caused the loss of money in economy of the country (Youthline,2014).2.
2. Possiblecauses of teenage suicide”Riskfactors – things that increase the likelihood that a child will engage in suicidalbehavior”, Kaslow (n.d, para. 2) defined. Recently, number of reasons for theprevalence of suicide ideation among teenagers have been found. In the researchof Kok and Goh (2011), they found out three main reasons for youth suicide byinvestigating 270 young people’s perspectives in West Malaysia.
These factorsincluding family problems, confict in romantic relationship and academic results.The suprising result was that problems in a boy-girls relationship became thefirst leading causes of suicide in both sexs, while family issues and academicfactors only ranked second and third, respectively. Another report from Chatterjeeand Basu (2010) indicates a similar situation in India where trouble in love waschosen as one of the main reasons for self-killingthought by 63% of young female participants. Also in this report, Chatterjee anBasu described sad love events as factors which evoke depression, loneliness andstress in youth mental health, leading to what we call “suicide behavior”. Familyis also one of the main contributors related to suicide actions among thisvulnerable group. Family factors including loss of family connection or familymembers, family history of suicide, parent divorce and parent poor caring (Bridgeet al., 2006, as cited in Cash & Bridge, 2009).
Brent and Mann (2005, ascited in Cash & Bridge, 2009) strongly believed that suicide attempt can betransferred from parents to children in a “genetic” ways. Nevertheless, USDepartment of Health and Human Services (n.d, as cited in Howard, 2017) andPoijula, Wahlberg and Dyregrow (2001, as cited in Youthline, 2014) agrued thatit is the copycat effects, not about the heredity. To be specific, both viewsdescribed suicide “infection” within family as the reaction after seeing one ofthe closest family members has suicide behaviors or ideation and then imitateit. Another suicide risk factors associating to family is family status.
Children under the age of 16 whose family was broken or living with singleparent were reported being more likely to face with mental health illness,leading to suicide actions (Cash & Bridge, 2009). Moreover, lack ofconnection between parent-child relationship can be a source of anxiety,loneliness and stress among this young group. The reasons were indicated by Kokand Goh (2011) that many modern parents now are busier with work and left theirchild alone with their emotions.Lastbut not least, academic achievement can also be one of the barrier that many adolescentshave to face these days. In China, a large percentage of students insisted thatthey usually feel pressure with their academic performance as their parentsalways have a high expectation on them (Kok & Goh, 2011).
This pressuredoes not appear only in study environments of Chinese students but also happen in many schools in Korea. Describedby Hong (n.d, as cited in CNN, 2011), a huge number of mistaken thinking aboutmoney and position in society from parents have been poured into Koreanstudents mind since they were just a little child. Consequently, these studentsbelieve that study is the only way to become success and begin to feel like a burdenif they can not please their parents.2.3. Commonmethods of teenage suicideThereare several suicide methods which were chosen by adolescents to put an end totheir life.
Examing the ways of suicide in teenagers, Bridge, Goldstein andBrent (2006, as cited in Cash & Bridge, 2009) introduced firearms as the leading method ofsuicide for youth in America, followed by asphyxia and self-poisoning. Cash andBridge also pointed out that suicide death cases by hanging among adolescentsaged 10 to 14 and 15 to 19 in America between 2003 and 2004 rose significantlyfrom 0.31 to 0.68 per 100,000 person (119%) and from 1.24 to 1.78 (44%), inturn. Also, in New Zealand, Youthline (2014) claimed that hanging, suffocationand asphyxiation were the most common methods of teenage suicide in 2011.
“Inthis older age group, the primary method chosen by boy is firearms, yet forgirls, the common method is suffocation”, Simon (as cited in Scutti, 2017, para.21) shared another opinion about the different in ways of suicide between maleand female teenagers in an article published by CNN. Also, in this article,Tisher (as cited in Scutti, 2017) said that there were a dramatic number offemale adolescents tend to use overdose as a way of suicide.
Asfirearms were chosen by many adolescents in suicide actions, Caroll (2017)shared his own view about the “popular” of this method. He said “most suicidesare impulsive” (para. 13), most of suicide decisions come suddenly and theythese people know that only firearms are “devastatingly efficient” (Caroll,2017, para.14).
According to another statistic of Caroll, over 85% of completedteenage suicide related to gun while self-poisoning made up much lesspercentage. All these figure mean that having access to gun or owning a gun inhouse can increase the number of successful suicide cases among young people. 2.4. Solutionsfor teenage suicideWhilethe suicide rates among youth keep increasing and talking about suicideprevention 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 youngpeople, therefore, it usually requires treatments which different from adults(Youthline, 2014). In the survey of Kok and Goh(2011), they asked 270youth aged 15-24 about the first person they would talk to when they hadencountered suicide thoughts and the result was surprised everyone. While peersand family members made up almost 46% and 33% of the answer from theseyoungster, respectively, teachers seem to be the least common source.
Afterviewing this result, it is obviously that peers are the most reliable source ofhelp and have a significant impact on the thinking of youth as they “serve asguides and role models” (Kok & Goh, 2011, p. 36).