Life for teens today is difficult. With the mounting pressure of looking like the celebs on the front of magazines, the increasing popularity of being pressured into activities and the piling of homework, it’s a wonder that teens don’t just crack. For some, these realities are inescapable, and no form of recreation can relieve the pressure they deal with on the day to day. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens in the United States.
Each year, 4,600 teens take their life, amounting to about twelve young adults a day. This statistic may make your stomach turn, but this is a relatively small fraction of the number of suicide attempts a year, which is a sad 575,000. That’s a little more than half a million attempts to end short-lived existences. It may not come as a surprising statistic to learn that 16% of students in grade 9-12 “seriously considered suicide,” but there’s also a sadder truth: 13% of students created a plan to go through with their suicide. It may be an unfortunately common term, to say, I just wanna die, ugh! But 157,000 teens a year (ages 10-24) have to receive medical care for these inflicted injuries. To males, especially, suicide is a serious threat. 80% of suicide deaths are committed by males.
Stopping the alarming amount of suicide attempts is not something to be done overnight. In order to restrict the channels in which teens find themselves in such a position, it’s important to look at the origin. The most popular method of committing suicide amongst youth is with a firearm, (45%), suffocation a close second (40%).
Suicide is most commonly committed by Native American youths (24.7%), Whites (13.3%) and Hispanics (9.2%). Ethnicities with the smallest percent of teen suicides include Asians (6.7%) and Blacks.
Perhaps examining the trends in ethnicities will enforce anti-bullying campaigns against minorities, as well as propel governments to regulate the distribution of firearms. In a world where adults have the power to vote, lead and change the course of the future, we may be overlooking a serious threat. Share these facts with your friends, parents and educators. If a teen doubts the meaning of their existence, you can stop them from becoming another statistic.
By Shrien Alshabasy