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by Zoey Jones

When I heard that Sarah was in the hospital and had attempted suicide, I began to think about a subject that I had never really thought about. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Did you know that more adolescents think about suicide than not? The sad reality is, in North America, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. Why are more teens choosing to end their life rather than face their reality? There are a lot of reasons - whether it's a state of mind (like depression) or whether they don't really understand the permanence of taking your life. The fact is, teens are attempting suicide and succeeding at an alarmingly high rate. It's important to know what the warning signs are and know how to help someone you suspect might be considering suicide.

Girls attempt suicide almost three times as more often that boys, but boys, if they try it, are almost always likely to succeed - scary isn't it? That's why every mention of suicide or a suicidal thought should be taken seriously. There is a myth that if you talk about suicide, it will plant the idea in someone's head. That's crazy - and it's a recipe for disaster - particularly when you are talking about a human life.

It's important to recognize the warning signs, which should be taken very seriously:

  • Sudden change in behaviour
  • Change in eating patterns (extreme change)
  • Sudden interest in death and dying
  • Giving away valued possessions
  • Signs of depression
  • Severe moodiness
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Recent attempt or death by suicide of a friend or family member

Every suicide reference, comment or mumble should be taken seriously. Sometimes problems can seem bigger than we are and it's hard to find someone to talk to, someone to help. When people feel alone they have a hard time thinking there is anyone who cares or anything that can help them find their way out of their problem. In many ways, suicide starts to feel like the only option.

So what can you do to help? You can talk to the person and you can help access community resources - teachers, parents, guidance councillors and Kids Help Phone are all available to help. It's about caring and being good to one another. I don't want to sound like a preachy hippie-chick, but we have to help each other whenever we can. It's hard to be a teenager, our parents get wrapped up in their own worlds and our teachers don't always get us or even care - it's up to us to look after each other - be a good friend and take a chance if you suspect someone is considering taking their life. It's better to have someone mad at you than have them gone forever.

Want more info? Click here to go to Resources.

 
 

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