Youth Suicide


Enormity of the problem
Attempts to address Youth Suicide
Adolescent Depression
Suicide Causes & Warning Signs



Adolescence can be a most nerve-racking experience; punctuated with a wide range of physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that assail us on a daily basis.  Frequently resulting in frustration, stress, confusion and distress. All too often with tragic consequences. This being so, suicide is now acknowledged to be a major cause of death amongst young people globally. Indeed, one survey conducted by the Unit for Suicide Research, University of Gent, Belgium; demonstrated that 24% of adolescents have experienced suicidal thoughts at some time or other. Other sources confirm that the actual figure is more-or-less one-in-four.

Paradoxically, boys are at a far greater risk of death by suicide than girls - but girls are twice as likely to have suicidal tendencies.

Growing awareness that suicide can destroy any family, has resulted in governments around the world, expressing their resolve to address youth suicide as a matter of priority.

This is great news - but what does it mean? "What is 'youth' suicide and how does it differ from 'ordinary' suicide?" Come to think of it – what is youth?  Given that children younger than 10 are known to have committed suicide begs the question, are children youth? 

If they are, then what is the upper age bracket for youth? It has been suggested that it could be as high as 25 - which is two and a half times the age of a ten year old 'youth'. 

Between these two very different ages we have the teenage years. Clearly the concept of youth extends from childhood to adulthood. It would seem more appropriate to use the word 'adolescent' instead of 'youth'

Anyway, in an attempt to try to understand what is meant by adolescent suicide, I have been researching English language sites from around the world.

 I was struck by how much patronizing material (and sheer nonsense) has been written by my 'fellow adults' on the subject of youth suicide.

Comments such as  unlike adults, youth do not have the ability to think about life and life events in terms of the broader perspective or "big picture" are all too common. Let's be honest, would you (or any 'young' person) wish to share your innermost secret, innermost pain and innermost grief to a patronising git like this?

Whilst 'experts' in the field of adolescent suicidology conclude that: "certain adolescents are more susceptible to having suicidal tendencies than others" Can you believe that someone can get paid for making observations like that - I can't 

However, the bottom line will always be that regardless of whether a person who dies by suicide is 16 or 60, his or her 'suicidal act' was the direct consequence of his or her suicidal crisis. 

BUT it is important to stress that a suicidal crisis does not have to end tragically. Never forget that countless millions of others go through suicidal crises and live. At any given time millions of us could be going through a crisis - very few of us will die - the rest move on.

Not only do they live - but many of us also rediscover and learn to enjoy and treasure a new found love of life. If you, yourself, are going through a crisis in this moment - take heart. The odds are on your side. Begin my logging onto now.