Why is There an Increase in Crime Amongst Teenagers Today?

In many countries today, we see a rapid increase in the standards of living. People all around the world are enjoying better homes, a wider variety of entertainment and higher incomes. However, tainting this improved life-style is a horrific rise in crime amongst teenagers today. One cannot help but wonder if the increased crime rate has direct relation to the so-called `new age' in living. In my opinion, the fierce competition to succeed in the world is definitely a contributing factor to the increased crime rate amongst teenagers. Firstly, parents who are caught in the struggle to improve their life-styles may often leave their children unattended at home. Whilst at work, parents have little or no knowledge of the company that their children keep. In this way, teenagers, who are naturally curious, often fall victim to a host of negative influences. To compensate for their absence from home, parents may buy expensive gifts for their children. In time, teenagers may form the attitude that luxuries do not have to be earned. With this ingrained in their impressionable minds, some teenagers tend to think nothing of stealing simply because they are so used to getting what they want. In some cases, teenagers may resort to crime in order to gain attention from either society or their parents. With more and more parents away from home chasing the `good-life', neglected children sometimes break laws to gain sympathy from society and more concern and attention from the family. We have looked at the teenagers who have too much or at least enough, but we must not fail to examine the causes that affect the rising crime rate amongst poor and needy teenagers. Mesmerised by glossy advertisements on television and in magazines, many teenagers are enticed by the love of wealth and the luxuries that wealth can give. Many thus steal or even kill to obtain money or luxuries. Therefore, I think that the wide range of people that the mass media has reached in recent years has also led to the increase of crime amongst teenagers. Moreover, the mass media encourages the perception that one is at a disadvantage if excluded from the beautiful people who enjoy good food, fast cars and dazzling ,jewellery. Pressure to belong to this ,jet-set may also prompt teenagers to compete amongst themselves to own branded goods. For some, it may start as harmless fun, but more often . than not, the challenge of stealing a tiny article soon .grows into larger and larger stakes. Before long, some teenagers totally succumb to their peers' influence and steal not for the fun and excitement, but for the compulsion to possess luxuries. Many movies have been made to glamorise crime. Movies such as `The Goodfellas', `The Untouchables' and `The Godfather' trilogy all show how murder and extortion can bear fruit in the form of beautiful women, lots of cash and a string of Ferraris. Although most of the characters are killed or jailed in the end, teenagers are still

Schools should also inculcate the virtue of hard work and self-respect in the individual. As members of society.in awe of the risk-taking and the exhilaration that it brings. the crime rate among youngsters has gone up by as much as 50-60 per cent." According to the experts. . A police official said: "We are surprised to find these educated youngsters committing such a heinous crime which can be conceived only by hardest criminals. son of Nand Lal. Youngsters taking to crime to get rich overnight TNN Apr 18. we must help put a stop to this rapid increase in the crime rate by making ourselves available to help them. especially with the more violent and explicit films of today. On Sunday. It is indeed worrisome that more and more teenagers are lured into a life of crime. there was an overwhelming response to a newly introduced switchboard service that caters to troubled youth. Of course. An innocent viewing of a movie can have a deep subconscious influence if not handled properly. for example.08pm IST KANPUR: When the news of young and educated lot committing a heinous crime makes headlines. One cannot imagine their involvement in crimes like loot. others from well-to-do families. 11. If parents find the need to compensate for their absence. teenagers have `heroes' to emulate. 2011. Last few years witnessed several such crimes committed by youngsters. it only brings home the fact that they are in the grip of `getting rich overnight' syndrome. an MBA degree holder Vijay Rajput alias Pinku. they should show love and concern. these are all preventive measures. Corrective measures are reformatory schools with close supervision. Just having a listening ear which responds to their pleas for attention can greatly soothe them and may keep them out of trouble. not generosity with money. kidnapping and even cyber fraud. even if it is just for a moment. Young people are free to express anger and grief anonymously. with more serious `crimes' on the increase. Parents should also make themselves available to their children to discuss their problems. murder. There has been steady flow of such youngsters into the world of crime. auto-theft. Having seen such movies. a retired irrigation employee was arrested with five others for looting a truck on Kanpur-Farrukhabad highway. some from reputed colleges and institutions. In China. One obvious but certainly difficult way to curb the increasing crime rate amongst teenagers is to ensure that parents give proper time and attention to their children. as counsellors. Promotion of wholesome living by the mass media can also help keep the crime rate in check. Counselling services like the Samaritans of Singapore are also a great help to frustrated teenagers who otherwise may turn to crime. The number and nature of such crimes in recent years have crossed the imagination.

Further research is currently being done to explain the [10][11][12] prevalence of suicide among LGBT youths. LGBT teens and young adults have one of the highest rates ofsuicide [1] attempts. this is linked to heterocentriccultures and institutionalised homophobia in some cases. Reports and studies Clinical social worker Caitlin Ryan's Family Acceptance Project (California State University. This higher prevalence of suicidal ideation and overall mental health problems among gay teenagers compared to their heterosexual peers has been attributed to Minority [7][8] Stress. HIV/AIDS and homelessness. "More than 34. gay.) regarding suicidal ideation or suicide rates among the LGBT population as a whole or in part. including the use of LGBT people as a political wedge issue like in the contemporary efforts to halt [2] legalising same-sex marriages. San Francisco) conducted the first study of the effect of family acceptance and rejection on the health.Suicide Researchers have found that suicide among lesbian. bisexual. Their research shows that LGBT youths "who experience high levels of rejection from their families during adolescence (when compared with those young people who experienced little or no rejection from parents and caregivers) were more than eight times likely to have attempted suicide. 7%) and 90% of LGBT students (vs. According to some groups. A U. or even identifies [2] as LGBTQ. The Family Acceptance Project's research has demonstrated that "parental acceptance. "approximately 25 percent of lesbian. particularly in this age group. for [2] example. more than three times likely to use illegal drugs and more than three times likely to be at high risk for HIV or other STDs" by the time they reach their [4] early 20s. have attempted suicide. gay. In part because there is no agreed percentage of the national population that is LGBTQ. also death certificates do not include sexuality information." It is impossible to know the exact suicide rate of LGBT youth because sexuality and gender minorities are often hidden and even unknown. Numerous studies have shown that lesbian. mental health and well-being [4] of LGBT youth. as well as a third of those who identify as transgender. In terms of school climate. for LGBT youth or LGBT seniors. even if not all of the attacks have been specifically addressing sexuality or gender. according [13] to the study and reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education.000 people die by suicide each year. and even neutrality.transgender (LGBT) youth is comparatively higher than among the general population. depending on age and sex groups. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center synthesized these studies and estimated that between [5] 30 and 40% of LGBT youth. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been harassed or assaulted during the past .S." "LGBT students are three times as likely as non-LGBT students to say that they do not feel safe at school (22% vs. more than six times likely to report high levels of depression. gay. Bullying of LGBT youth has been shown to be a contributing factor in many suicides. Depression and drug use among LGBT people have both been shown to increase [3] significantly after new laws that discriminate against gay people are passed." making it "the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds with lesbian. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention notes there are no national data (for the U. including suicide.S. published in 1989. and bisexual youth have a higher rate of suicide attempts than do heterosexual youth. with regard to a child's sexual orientation" can bring [1] down the attempted suicide rate. and bisexual youth attempting suicide up to four times more than their heterosexual [9] peers. titled Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide. government study. gay and bisexual students and university employees have been harassed due to their sexual orientation. found that LGBT youth are four times [6] more likely to attempt suicide than other young people.

sexual. while emotional bullying is name calling. and racial. As seen in the ten LGBTQ youth suicides [20] reported by news media in September 2010. and bisexual adolescents Mark [17] Hatzenbuehler examined the effect of the county-level social environment. heart disease. viral. but studies have shown it has negative physical and psychological effects. [edit]Institutionalized and internalized homophobia Institutionalized and internalized homophobia may also lead LGBT youth to not accept themselves and have deep [18] internal conflicts about their sexual orientation. 1 in 5 or 20% of Taiwanese gay people have attempted suicide. Homophobia arrived at by any means can be a gateway to bullying. For adolescents." Susan Rankin. He found that a more conservative social environment elevated risk in suicidal behavior among all youth and that this effect was stronger for LGB youth. and "almost all transgender students have been verbally harassed (e.year. Twitter. Physical bullying is kicking. Viral. Parents may force children out of home after the child's coming [19] out. too. The problem of LGBT suicide is thus the result of hostile cultural conditions rather than pathology inherent to LGBT individuals. gay. or teens that identify themselves as gay.. It does not always have to be physical. Also. [edit]Developmental [16] [14] psychology perspectives The diathesis-stress model suggests that biological vulnerabilities predispose individuals to different conditions such as cancer. Minority stress theory suggests that minority status leads to increased discrimination from the social environment which leads to greater stress and health problems. or cyber bullying. The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQ students. This helps us understand racial/ethnic disparities in health conditions as well as the problem of LGBT youth suicide. That is. lesbian or bisexual. This was indexed by the proportion of same-sex couples and Democrats living in the counties. and racial bullying has to do [21] with stereotypes and discrimination. are bullied two to three times more than heterosexuals". In the presence of poor emotion regulation skills this can lead to poor mental health. In a study of lesbian. Also included were the proportions of schools with gaystraight alliances as well as anti-bullying and antidiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation. spreading rumors and other verbal abuse. neighborhood. "Sexual minority youth. punching. Furthermore. faculty and staff experience a „chilly‟ campus climate of harassment and far less than welcoming [15] campus communities. Varying amounts of environmental stress increase the probability that these individuals will develop that condition. "LGBQ students were more likely than heterosexual students to have seriously considered [15] leaving their institution as a result of harassment and discrimination. a risk factor for suicide. and school. the differential susceptibility hypothesissuggests that for some individuals their physical and mental development is highly dependent on their environment in a “for-better-and-for-worse” fashion. violent environments. the most relevant environments are the family. individuals who are highly susceptible will have better than average health in highly supportive environments and significantly worse than average health in hostile. lewd gestures or jokes. Homophobic bullying in schools is highly prevalent among sexual minority youth and is one specific type of chronic stressor that can increase risk for suicide via the diathesis-stress model. The Experiences of Transgender Youth In Our Nation’s Schools. found that “Unequivocally. and mental health conditions like major depression. severe bullying can lead to extremities such as suicide. involves abusive text messages or messages of the same nature on Facebook. Indeed. called names or threatened in the past year at school because of their sexual orientation (89%) and gender expression [9] (89%)") according to GLSEN's Harsh Realities." According to a study in Taiwan." In addition. and other social media networks. but it can be emotional. Sexual bullying is inappropriate touching.g. initial studies suggest that this approach is informative. Bullying may be considered a "rite of passage". he found that the social environment partially mediated the relation between LGB status and suicidal behavior. [22] . a contributing author to the report in Miami.

Associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah. the project "is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide. a comedy/drama about a gay 13-year-old boy [24] who. Trevor. digital community and [24] advocacy/educational programs that create a safe. offering around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBT youth by having gay [27] adults convey the message through social media videos that these teens' lives will improve.000 entries." However a national study of 15. with more than 40 million views." He argues that we should not be sending the message that “it gets better” but that “life can be good now. Developmental psychologist Ritch Savin-Williams argues that the It Gets Better Project "promotes a false 'suffering [32][33] suicidal script'" and that there is suicide rates in proportion to non-LGBT counterparts. school psychologist Anastasia Hansen notes that hearing teachers make homophobic remarks or fail to intervene when students make such remarks are both positively [35] correlated with negative feelings about an LGBT identity Conversely. He presents as evidence the past surveys have bias built in and do not accurately portray that presently there has "never been a better time to [32] be young and gay.. A book of essays from the project. a number of researchers have found the . in response to the suicides of teenagers who were bullied because they were gay or because their peers suspected that they were gay. in most cases. Some advocate intervention at the stage in which youth are already suicidal (such as crisis hotlines). when rejected by friends because of his sexuality." [edit]Policy responses A number of policy options have been repeatedly proposed to address this issue. President Barack Obama has posted an "It Gets Better" video on The White House website as part of the It Gets Better Project. was released in March 2011. The project is now organized on its own website. Citing a study by Jordan et al. creators of the 1994 Academy Award-winning short film. supportive and positive environment for everyone. First lady Michelle Obama attributes such behaviors to the [23] examples parents set as. from people of all sexual orientations." They are an American non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide. and includes more than 30. the It Gets Better Project. children follow their lead. Lisa Diamond studied adolescents in Salt Lake City and found that although LGBTQ youth were more likely to make friends with non-white and differently able children. 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline. Overcoming Bullying." [edit]It Gets Better Project The It Gets Better Project is an Internet-based project founded in the US by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller [25][26] in September 2010. It Gets Better: Coming Out. including many [30] celebrities. [edit]The Trevor Project "The Trevor Project was founded by writer James Lecesne. while others advocate programs directed at increasing LGBT youth access to factors found to be “protective” against suicide (such as social support networks or mentors). director/producer Peggy Rajski and producer Randy Stone. and even more so in the months of September and October 2010. "straight youth who are gender-atypical suffer as much as gay kids. and the project's YouTube channel reached the 650 video [29] [29] limit in the next week. there lead „ordinary lives‟ and are just as well-adjusted as their [34] straight counterparts.” saying 'things get better' sends the message that suicide and poor mental health are normal processes [32] for queer/non-heterosexual teens.000 middle and high-school students found that LGBTQ teenagers were "more likely to be [34] harshly punished by schools and courts than their straight peers. One proposed option is to provide LGBT-sensitivity and anti-bullying training to current middle and high school counselors and teachers. The project has grown [28] rapidly: over 200 videos were uploaded in the first week. makes an attempt to take his life.This issue has been a hot topic for media outlets over the past few years. Savin-Williams notes that the suicide and bullying are more easily attributed to gender [34] nonconformitythan sexuality itself. and Creating a [31] Life Worth Living.

almost 300 young people take their lives each year. The Trevor Project notes that “lesbian.presence of LGBT-supportive school staff to be related to “positive outcomes for GLBT youth. Inspire. For example.” [36] Youth suicide Youth suicide is when a young person: generally categorized as someone below age 24. 39% of all youth suicides are completed by young people who have lost someone of influence or significance to them to suicide.” Citing a 2006 Psychology in the Schools report. In Canada. student groups dedicated to providing a social support network for LGBT students. found in a nationwide survey that “students in schools with a GSA were less likely to feel unsafe. Lesbian and Straight Education Network.” Another frequently proposed policy option involves providing grant incentives for schools to create and/or support Gay-Straight Alliances. The Commission terms this suicide contagion and makes several recommendations as to the importance of safe guarding young people and communities from suicide contagion. Kosciw and Diaz.000 suicides were Suicide contagion According to research carried out by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian in 2007. [1] and according to the National Institute for Mental Health. [edit]Teens at risk [6] One of the problems is getting psychiatric counseling when it's needed. recorded in India. one-third of suicides are young people 15–29. depression is considered a [7] leading . including Sunnykids. researchers for the Gay. In 2002. and Boys Town. "In teenagers. bisexual. In 2011 the Australian Federal Parliament Standing Committee for Health and Ageing Inquiry into Youth Suicide met in a round table forum with young representatives from three organisations at the forefront of preventing youth [4] suicide. suicide is the third leading cause of death among [2] teens in the United States. The Standing Committee has since released a discussion [5] paper highlighting the findings of their inquiry and will seek to make final recommendations on the most effective means for reducing youth suicide at the conclusion of their inquiry.    It Gets Better [9] [10] [11] Born This Way I Get Bullied Too . [3] In India.cause of teen suicide. deliberately ends their own life. Gay teens or those unsure of their sexual identity are more likely to commit suicide. 154. Some aboriginal teens and gay or lesbian teens are at high risk. Several campaigns have been started to give them hope and help them to feel less isolated. and that GSAs and other similar peer[35] support group can be effective providers of this “psychosocial support. depending on their [8] community and their own self esteem.". particularly if they have suffered bullying or harassment. transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth who believe they have just one school staff member with whom they can talk about problems are only [37] 1/3 as likely as those without that support to… report making multiple suicide attempts in the past year. gay. less likely to miss school. and more likely to feel that [38] they belonged at their school than students in schools with no such clubs. Rates of attempted and completed youth suicide in Western societies and other countries are high.if not the leading .” Studies have shown that social isolation and marginalization at school are psychologically damaging to LGBT students. inAustralia suicide is second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death for people aged 15– 24.

had committed suicide. and specifically in professional courses. of which one-thirds are youth.Harassment is a leading cause of teen suicide. Also. Key matters in postvention responses for young people include: community context.[edit]Bereavement among young people The primary goals of suicide postvention include assisting the survivors of suicide with the grief process. First class and second class are hardly adequate results anymore. Parents are helpless too. The same question. if they receive effective support. to be exact. I did a little research and the results I got were too shocking.org [edit]Issues for communities Intervention issues for communities to address include: suicide contagion. There is an imbalance between the youth population and the limited opportunities for admission in schools and colleges. and assisting the young person to get appropriate help or hospitalization. He did commit suicide. identification and referral (Postvention Co-ordination). You need to get everything right. supported and understood. a sense of being supported and respected are protective factors for young people at risk of suicide. as both public and private institutions have caused economic burden to them. This puts the youth under great pressure. If you think getting admission is the toughest thing that youth can ever experience.further research and investment must be made into supporting this group of people. as well information about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) see www. According to Pueblo Suicide Prevention Center(PSPC) for some reason kids today are experiencing more pressure. the youth in India form one of the most vulnerable groups. Why? Now thinking about this issue of suicide. This makes suicide the third major cause of death. while on the other hand. I got a text from my friend saying that a guy. [edit]Intervention One organization in Australia has found that young people who feel connected. Then why out of nowhere should he take this decision. attempts suicide. causes all the more pain. annually more than 1. rethink! Placements are another hell. who had been my classmate during high school. Reports on the attitudes of young people identified as at risk of suicide have been [12] released. Everyone had only one question. supported and understood are less likely to complete suicide. as they may represent the single largest potential reduction in youth suicide rates. Such reports support the notion that connectedness. and creating ongoing options. are a browbeaten and baffled cluster. A person with the pleasure of working but with limited salary is certainly not welcome in this society. and the influence of culture. Knowing behaviors that can be 'early warning signs' can help. developing a suite of services. That was all people spoke for a couple of months. the comparison in relation to the pay received. Diverse backgrounds. development and suicide risk. somewhere in India. feel connected. I had always seen this guy to be one with great self-esteem and self-confidence. who on the one hand are expected to be the leaders. the backbone of tomorrow‟s India. Later I discovered the truth. A few weeks ago. life stage relevance of responses. someone. and identifying and referring those survivors who may be at risk for negative outcomes such as depressive and anxiety disorders. Statistics show that every five minutes. and suicidal behaviour[6]. I seriously thought that this friend was playing a prank on me.00. People have come . diverse goals and diverse opinions! But same decision! Today. And even after getting placed.abct. With 42% of completed youth suicides being suicide bereavement (or contagion) related .000 people commit suicide in India. For information on intervention and identification of indicators of suicidal thinking/intent. developmental understanding of suicide.

There are plenty of youth who have followed their heart to be what they wanted to be. And you will never know what marvels are awaiting you.com . 2010 | By Barbara Aufiero Photo Credit sad image by 26kot from Fotolia. But the youth are greatly affected. Something has to be done to cripple it. Friendships and relationships have also played equal parts in this gamble for life. They bundle up all these grievances in their hearts and eventually give their hearts a complete rest so they will never have to face the same. The problem may be anything. I am blaming all. In battle between the thirst to have their dream life and the urge to fulfill the expectation of the society. But the fact that this suicide virus is taking away the lives of millions of youth is alarming. Youth are too sensitive to sort any sort of relationship problem. even help see beyond the mist. family issues with parents fighting over their lives or over financial issues. why aren‟t they having the same guts for a moment longer to face the battle? If a person is disturbed. fight with best friends. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF SUICIDE AMONG ADOLESCENTS? May 7. all that has to be done is just talk.to a point where they are ready to trade their work pleasure for money. While a very few regain their stand. many are shattered. When they have the guts to face the pain of ending their lives for one moment. Tough deadlines and hectic work atmosphere have taken the lives of many youth. the rest take the ultimate decision of ending their lives. again. bitter misunderstanding with girlfriend/ boyfriend followed by an even bitter break-up. Words can do wonders.

OTHER DEATHS Losing a loved one at any age is difficult to accept. suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents. They often mimic how their friends talk or dress. a sibling or a close friend because they depend on these people to be in their lives. pp. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among children. Also. Poor performance in school can be a major source of stress. the importance of extracurricular activities is problematic for teenagers who fail to make sports teams or lack social skills to join other types of groups. According to Suicide. teenagers. email.S. Verbal abuse also is damaging to an adolescent's sense of self and could result in feelings of worthlessness. more than 90 percent of teens who commit suicide have mental disorders. and break-ups might seem like the end of the world to them. and they hold their opinions in high regard. The frequency goes up with age. 13 percent of Colorado‟s young males and 25 percent of Colorado‟s young females (grades 9 to 12) thought about suicide in 2001 (Colorado Trust.org. but teenagers typically are ill-equipped to handle the loss of a parent.000 die per year (CDC.S. Sponsored Links Instant height increaseSilicone gel insoles @1499 Suitable for all footwearwww. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that lead to suicidal thoughts can become prominent if depression is left untreated. Failing to get into one's school of choice can be a major disappointment. In addition to friends. the Internet or face-to-face is psychological damaging. Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence can be traumatic. 2005). a prevalent form of violence among young people. suicides. attempt and commit suicide (Gould. suicides reported by the media can lead to copycat. teenagers sometimes consider it as a more viable alternative to living. and young adults in Colorado. Nine percent of young males and 19 percent of young . BULLYING Bullying. 11-12). they are greatly affected by problems within their families. In fact. This means that every day close to 11 of our young people die by suicide in the U. When someone in their age group commits suicide. It is known that children under 15 also think about. Teenagers who believe their family members don't care about them might question their reason for living. Every year in the United States 250. Shaffer. Applying to college is stressful. or cluster. It can cause significant decreases in self-esteem and self-worth.naaptol. and more individuals die by suicide than by motor vehicle accidents. In fact. 2003). second only to motor-vehicle traffic related accidents. and the leading cause of death by injury for Coloradoans ages 35-74. 2002. Teenagers experience strong emotions and become emotionally distraught more easily than adults. as of 2010. (Colorado Violent Death Reporting System. Repeated harassment and humiliation by other teenagers via text messages.000 youth attempt suicide. so disagreements with friends can be considerably distressing. according to the U. Preventing Youth and Adult Suicide Suicide is the leading cause of death by injury for youth and adults in Colorado. Intimate relationships make teenagers vulnerable to rejection. teenagers seek the approval and acceptance of the people they date. & Greenberg. also leads to teenage suicides. Victims of bullying might view suicide as the only way to end it. REJECTION Teenagers constantly struggle to fit in with their peers. Of those in the 15 to 24 age group. The isolation and self-loathing associated with depression is particularly harmful during adolescence.Adolescence is a period characterized by hormonal changes and instabilities in mood and behavior. According to recent studies. this makes them more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts than adults. DEPRESSION Depression is the most common cause of suicide among adolescents. FAILURE Teenagers are under significant pressure to succeed in high school and advance to college.com FAMILY PROBLEMS Although teenagers yearn for independence and freedom from their parents. when self-discovery and affiliation with others are focus points. Also. surgeon general. 2007). 4.

4). and 5) family alienation (Blumenthal & Kupfer. 2002. making a suicide plan. They are also the least likely to seek mental health counseling.0). The last three decades have seen stable suicide rates among adolescents aged 10-14. 2) increasingly fast-paced society with youth feeling unprepared for too many changes and options. 14. 8/22/2000 e-mail communication and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. 2002. hypotheses have included the following: a restriction of the availability of lethal methods. 2003). and Lincoln (27. The leading external cause of death for Colorado ranchers and farmers has been suicide. 2005). and an increase in the prevalence of substance abuse among adolescents (Gould et al.1). Colorado‟s suicide rate at 17. Gilpin (47. Bol.6). Rio Blanco (27. Prowers (7. but since the mid 1990‟s. the external cause of death for one out of five Colorado ranchers and farmers was suicide (K. and to have made a suicide attempt requiring medical attention.3/100. the reasons are mostly unknown. Yuma (10.2). Heron.2). Costilla (53. 2002.2). 10/20/2005 e-mail communication). Las Animas (29. “I wanted to solve the problem on my own. In the same study. 8/22/2000 e-mail communication). Between 2000 and 2004. 24). p.” “Getting help is too expensive. 2005. threefold increase in suicide rates among ages 15-19 years. Daniels.to 19-year-old Coloradans took their own lives in 2005 (CDC.000 population) between 2001 and 2003 are scattered throughout Colorado--Sedgwick (60. 16). 2007).” “I‟m unsure about where to go for help.8). 1988). Eagle (11. 2005).to 14-year-old and 51 15. These counties experienced recent rapid population growth and economic prosperity (Colorado Trust. female students were more likely than male students to report suicidal ideation.3 percent of students in grades 9 to 12 reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide. The Rocky Mountain region has the highest suicide rate in the country. pp. however. but the highest rate of suicides in Colorado occurs among men 75 years of age and older (CDC. Daniels.0/100..3 percent reported attempting suicide. Moffat (30.7). Archuleta (27.” “I thought the problem would get better by itself.” “Help probably would not do any good.7) Counties (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.5 times the national rate at 11. the Center for Disease Control‟s National Youth Risk Behavior Survey revealed that 19.0). Reasons for Suicide The primary reasons for not seeking professional help that were given by adults who considered suicide include the following. 2003). Counties with the highest suicide death rates (per 100. .5 percent reported making a specific plan of how to attempt suicide. Clear Creek (27.6). Historically.. pp. and Weld (11. From the 1960‟s to 1988 there was a dramatic. Conejos (27.S.females made a suicide plan.” “It would take too much time or be inconvenient” (Colorado Trust. 2005).6). and 8.1). In the U.9). 184-185). 3) pressure to succeed. The largest number of suicide deaths occurs among middle-aged men 35 to 44 years of age. which makes it 6th highest in the nation at roughly 720 deaths each year from suicide (Minino.000 in 2004. an increase in anti-depressants prescribed to adolescents. p.7). Seven percent of young males and 14 percent of young females attempted suicide in 2001 (Colorado Trust. Douglas (9. 11-12). Most are white and not married. 2003).7). Saguache (32.. Seven 10. Although adolescent suicide rates have shown a slight decline. but the differences were not statistically significant (Apter & Wasserman. & Kochanek. Livestock and tractors were the second and third leading external causes of death in Colorado rural areas (T. It is believed that the increase in adolescent suicides from 1960 to 1988 related to: 1) poor outlook for success in the future. suicide is the most frequent external cause of death on farms and ranches (T. Counties with the lowest suicide rates between 2001 and 2003 include Summit (5. 4) lack of support systems.000 was over 1. Murphy. suicide rates have declined among 15-24 year olds (Gould et al.

Adolescents are prone to exaggerate the importance or significance of their own thoughts and feelings. 1996). Psychiatric disorders have been identified in 90 percent of teen suicide completions. some families‟ communication rules do not permit the suicidal person to state his or her needs openly to others. 2000). changes in expectations placed on them. Depression is a very common warning sign. These twin motivations often lead to great emotional anxiety. 2007. Adolescents often have few life experiences and poor problem-solving skills (Stanard. . Shaffer et al. 1986. Becoming more independent of adult support and care is one of the hardest things for a youth to do. Jobes. Lots of understanding is needed. changes in the way they think. that there is no one like them or no one who has experienced the intensity of their feelings. Their thinking is oriented to the present rather than the future. to make the pain go away. to be with someone who died. It is critical to be able to recognize the symptoms. Some suicidal thoughts are not very serious. Many adolescents mistakenly believe that suicide is an acceptable solution to their problems. They have needs for immediate solutions. Parents and those interested in youth can act as the first line of defense in stopping this fatal act. However. Thus. to make others know how desperate they are. 2006. Depression may be more concealed in the adolescent and viewed as a phase related to the frequent mood swings often experienced by adolescents. it is one of the most important developmental tasks for a youth to accomplish. increasing responsibilities. identified as “personal fable thinking” (Muuss. Their belief that no one can understand them leads to feelings of loneliness and the decision not to seek needed help. This often creates a sense of intense aloneness and isolation as they face problems. Sussman. Most experts believe that many suicides can be prevented. Having the blues can be a normal experience when it does not last long. adolescents believe that there is no one who can understand them. 1987). 2006. The way adolescents think is unique and can contribute to suicide. Depression is the leading cause of suicide. not knowing what else to do.. Some of the reasons youth give for thinking of suicide as a solution to problems are: to make others feel sorry for them. Of particular importance is their egocentric thinking. and mood disorders such as depression are most commonly diagnosed. to influence others. Also. & Brent. Furthermore. Not all depressed youth try to kill themselves. and suicidal thinking in youth (Galaif. When it is long-term and intense. revenge. 1996). Furthermore. Martin & Dixon. warning signs and what to do if one suspects suicidal thinking. & Locke. They may fail to comprehend that death is irreversible and perceive death like a peaceful sleep that will make everything better. Newcomb. the personal fable often relates to a belief that they are indestructible. But the majority of youth who do attempt suicide experience depression. Stivers. it is important to remember that some adolescents commit suicide without showing signs of depression and many depressed adolescents do not commit suicide (Berman. It is essential to know the causes. and the move toward greater independence. Goldstein. many youth believe that suicide is somehow romantic or heroic. & Hawton. to make things easier for others. suicide attempts. others are. 1988). to show how much they love someone. Bridge. This often leads them to believe that they are completely unique. it is identified as depression.Adolescence is filled with many changes and is a vulnerable time for youth. & Silverman. There are great changes in physical characteristics. On the other hand. or to die (Diekstra.

1988).. Some examples of events perceived as losses are: loss of a loved one or a relationship. 2007. 2006. & Smith. 2000). Patros & Shamoo. Some of the behavioral symptoms of depression in adolescents include: acting-out. especially if used to escape pain (Galaif et al. unwanted pregnancy or abortion. Risk factors for depression in adolescents that may also lead to suicide include the following: a history of abuse or neglect. Diego. Weinman. That is why it is so important to pay attention to any signs that indicate a youth may be having thoughts of suicide (Berman et al. they may see themselves negatively. When youth experience little or no control in the important events of their lives. Tell parents. When this change no longer allows them to escape their pain. or events that lower self-esteem (school expulsion. academic failure. However. 2000). parental depression or intergenerational psychiatric illness. Guidelines The majority of youth who commit. 1989. partners. Buzi. Trust your own judgment. and combined with poor problem-solving skills can lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness (Patros & Shamoo. Field. sleep disturbances. drastic changes in appearance. Stanard.. or loss of energy (Martin & Dixon.” This negative thinking makes it difficult for youth to face the stresses in their lives. If you suspect that a youth or adult in your family or a friend may be suicidal or experiencing depression. 2000). 1989.Some factors related to depression are events perceived as losses with negative meanings. Stanard. they may resort to a more drastic measure like suicide. Often it is difficult to determine whether a behavior is typical of adolescence or of serious concern. The substance itself may be the chosen method of suicide. 1989. 2006. delinquency. Alcohol and other drug use can increase the risk of suicide. easily frustrated. conduct disorder. anger. Be concerned if there is recent loss in the person‟s life. 2007). . lack of healthy and satisfying peer relationships. Thinking and behavior tend to go together. Stanard. Do:      Take all threats seriously. & Sanders. 2001. persisting or escalating stressful life events.. and lacking in self-control. guardians. 2006). nervous or anxious. Notice signs of depression and withdrawal. decreased or increased appetite.. Any one of these events can be seen as either an opportunity or a crisis. These are normal feelings. The substances create a change in consciousness. Stanard. or not being invited to a popular social event) (Stivers. There is no complete list of symptoms for any youth or adult. alcohol and other drug use. and substance abuse (Bridge et al. etc. 2000). Following are some general guidelines on what to do and what not to do when you find yourself concerned about a person‟s being depressed or suicidal. poor family functioning or relations with parents. school performance problems. I‟m no good. making it difficult to put all the signs together. 1986. There is usually no single cause or one signal of suicide or suicidal thinking. Patros & Shamoo. sexual promiscuity. attempt or think about suicide give signs of their intentions (Berman et al. Those involved in substance use tend to be more impulsive. they may give different signs to different people. failure to make a team. “I‟m worthless. guidance counselors. you may feel scared. withdrawal from normal activity and social contact.

The primary purpose of professional intervention is to assess the seriousness of the person‟s situation and help him or her and the family through the crisis. the most effective treatment for clinical depression is a combination of antidepressant medication and counseling. Get professional help. mental health centers. Talk openly and freely and ask questions about the person‟s intentions. & Litman. Post community resource numbers by the phone: police. Table 1: Warning signs. They require professional intervention that meets the person and their families with consistent respect. physician. where). The youth and the family need assistance in building self-esteem. Seek help from a school counselor.            Verbal "I wish I was dead." "You don't have to worry about me any more. Extreme boredom. and the more deadly the means. and developing new and better ways to communicate. Call 1800-SUICIDE 24 x 7 for assistance and local resources. 1985). Sudden happiness after long period of depression. remove the means of suicide. Treatment programs for young people and adults who suffer from self-destructive thinking cannot be successful if they are short-term or individual-oriented in nature. Assume that a youth will easily get over a loss. Currently. trusted minister. priest. It is most important for all involved to realize that even though the initial “suicide crisis” may have passed. the more serious the threat. poison control. Be direct. when.     Express your concerns to the person by being an active listener and showing your support. If safety permits. psychologist. the underlying problems and feelings still exist. concern and interest (Peck. The more detailed the plan. Sadness. Don't:           Ignore or explain away suicidal behavior or comments. problem-solving. Be misled. Attempt to impose guilt by preaching or debating the rightness or wrongness of suicide. . Leave the means of suicide available. rabbi or crisis center to help solve the problems. Assume that the person will be all right left alone. local crisis help-lines. 1989). family therapist. fire department. Loneliness. Assume because others become involved that the person no longer needs your help (Patros & Shamoo. Act shocked at what the person may say to you. Stay in close touch with the youth. Farberow. Be sworn to secrecy." "How do you leave your body to science?" "Why is there such unhappiness in life?" Feelings Depression. Immediate action depends on the professional‟s assessment of the situation. Ignore verbal and behavioral warning signs. Try to determine if the person has a plan for suicide (how. care. A plan of action is needed that includes counseling or therapy for the youth and the family.

Collecting pills. Careless. Extreme irritability. razor blades. lack of close friends. Unwanted pregnancy or abortion. Being a victim of physical or sexual abuse or rape. Being a "perfectionist." . guilt. Running away from home. Social isolation. Giving away prized possessions. Alcohol or other drug use. Troubled family life. Recent loss of job. crying. ropes or firearms. Change in school performance. Withdrawal from family and friends. risk-taking behavior. Violent and rebellious behavior.                       Behaviors Previous suicide attempt. Arranging to donate organs. knives. Not making a team or membership in an organization. Situations Recent suicide or death of someone a youth respects or is close to. friendships. Making a will. inability to concentrate. Failing or dropping out of school.

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