Along the lines of what I have been posting lately, I wanted to post the suicide statistics that I have been looking at.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, “over 38,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year” and “In 2010 (latest available data), there were 38,364 reported suicide deaths.”. Did you know that suicide was the fourth leading cause of death in 18 to 65 year olds in the United States and the tenth leading cause of death for all ages? And it’s been estimated that every 14 minutes someone takes their own life in the United States. Those are scary statistics! What adds to these sad statistics is that 90% of those who do commit suicide have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. That means that they are treatable! They could have been treated and survived, but for one reason or another they were not. And for every suicide death, there are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds and the fourth leading cause of death among 5 to 14 year olds. Did you catch that? 5 to 14 year olds are committing suicide every day. I know we hear about those teenagers and young adults who do, so I’m not totally surprised by the numbers on that one, but 5 to 14 year olds are killing themselves daily, so much so that it is the fourth leading cause of death in that group! I’m so saddened by these numbers. According to Afsp, “Risk factors for suicide among the young include suicidal thoughts, psychiatric disorders (such as depression, impulsive aggressive behavior, bipolar disorder, certain anxiety disorders), drug and/or alcohol abuse and previous suicide attempts, with the risk increased if there is situational stress and access to firearms”.
Factors in Suicides
- Over 60% of those who commit suicide suffer from depression and more Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer, and HIV.
- Alcohol is factored into about 30% of all suicide cases
- Firearms are used in more suicides than homicides.
- Death by firearms is the fastest growing method of suicide.
- Patients who desire an early death during a serious or terminal illness are usually suffering from a treatable depressive condition.
(All previous stats from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)
Bullying and Suicide
“Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.” Did you know that bully-related suicide can be linked to all forms of suicide, including cyber-bullying, physical bullying, sexting, etc.? So, if your child isn’t being picked on at school directly, don’t assume that they aren’t being bullied. (I’ll deal more with bullying in another post soon.)
(from Bullying Statistics)
That statistics for suicide, especially teen suicide, are alarming! So what do we do the help? The biggest thing we can do to help our children is to be involved in their lives on a daily basis. I’m convinced that if we have open dialogues with our children on a daily basis and show we care about more than just the chores they need to do that we can spot the signs of suicidal thoughts, bullying, etc. a lot easier. Does that mean that we will always see it? No, there have been cases where parents had that type of relationship with their children, but for one reason or another they didn’t see the problems, however, I wholeheartedly believe that if we are involved, then those cases are few and far between and we will begin to see the signs. I also believe that it’s extremely important for us to talk to our children about suicide, bullying, anger, fear, etc. Just like if we talk to our kids about sex, they are more likely to have a healthy view of it and will be more likely to abstain, I think that if we talk to our kids about these issues, they will be more likely to talk to us when they feel any of the warning signs. We also need to be on our knees for our kidsdaily, not just for their everyday needs and their future college, jobs, families, etc. but also that they will be able to deal with life’s stresses, hardships, trials and tribulations, that we will be able to talk to them about it all, and that they will seek help if they ever feel they can’t deal with it anymore.
And if you are thinking about suicide, please visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call them at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or seek out an adult you trust or a doctor or pastor to help you. Suicide isnt’ the answer. With help, you can beat those thoughts and desires into the ground and overcome!
And never, ever, ever forget what God thinks of you!