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E-Quipped to... Prevent the Teen Suicide Slide
This newsletter refers to Suicide Sensitivity, a comprehensive article found on my website.
Most people were unaware that 10th September was World Suicide Prevention Day, just as most people are unaware that teen suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)
More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined! (Source: jasonfoundation.com) Shocking statistics indeed. Particularly because suicide is preventable!
So how can we prevent it? Here are three suggestions:
Be well informed about the “Silent Epidemic” of youth suicide.
Globally, although suicide rates have traditionally been highest amongst elderly males, rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of all countries.
In South Africa, 20.7% teens have considered attempting suicide and nearly 16.8% of teenagers have made an actual plan to commit suicide. If you look up statistics in other countries you will find them just as shocking.
It is being aware of these shocking statistics that will wake us up to the fact that we need to pay attention to our youth and their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Take changes in teenage behaviour seriously.
Changes in the behaviour of a teenager are often seen as “just a phase they are going through” or “just a part of adolescence”. This may or may not be the case. It is difficult for adults to understand what would motivate teenagers to take their own lives, but as parents and adults we need to be able to talk openly with teenagers about their feelings and make a concerted effort to understand their experience of life. Some teenagers in pain see suicide as a very real (and possibly only) solution. We need to be able to recognise signs and symptoms of suicide and know how to react and get professional help if needed.
For signs and symptoms of suicidal behaviour to watch out for read: Suicide Sensitivity
Don’t fall into the “Not My Child” Syndrome
It is all too easy to think of suicide as a terrible tragedy that happens to other people’s families. We want to believe that children who experience suicidal thoughts come from dysfunctional families that may have a history of family violence and drug abuse. While it is true that these factors increase the risk of suicide, it’s important to understand that suicide crosses all racial, economic, social and ethnic lines. Your teenager may be at just as much risk as other people’s teenagers. All of us (whether we have our own teenagers or not) need to be watching out for suicidal warning signs and know how to respond if we see them.
For behavioural and verbal clues to watch and listen out for read: Suicide Sensitivity
What do YOU Think?
Share your wisdom with others… What can adults do to help prevent teenage suicide?
My Life Lesson Learnt in Louisiana
Thank you for the Feedback
Thanks to Chantaul for the feedback after last month's newsletter.
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About These Newsletters
You may have been forwarded this email by a friend. In that case, allow me to introduce myself. I am a psychologist, speaker, trainer, coach and hat lover based in Durban, South Africa.
My goal is to inspire you to make the changes necessary to live the life of your dreams! I believe that by developing your YOU-Q - the term I have created to describe your unique intelligence, creativity and wisdom - you can find your Inner winner and live a Be-YOU-tiful life right now.
On my website you'll find more ideas to get you thinking about life, love, work and other important STUFF.
Contact me for more information or visit the website:
+27 82 491 1136
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