Social Work Essay

800 Words4 Pages
Direct Social Work Practice: Teen Depression and Suicide Teenage depression is a serious problem that impacts every aspect of a teen’s life. Teen depression is a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness that interferes with the teenager’s ability to function. The depression has an effect on how teens think, feel, and behave. The depression can cause emotional, functional, and physical problems. Teen depression can lead to destructive and risky behaviors: substance abuse, self-mutilation, pregnancy, violence, and even suicide (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014). Prevalence Suicide amongst teens is largely connected to a state of depression, with the leading cause of teen suicide being untreated depression. Teens experiencing depression are 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than teens not experiencing depression and greater than half who complete suicide had major depression (King & Vidourek, 2012). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014), suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4600 lives lost each year. A nationwide survey of youth in grades 9–12 in public and private schools in the United States (U.S.) found that 16% of students reported seriously considering suicide, 13% reported creating a plan, and 8% reporting trying to take their own life in the 12 months preceding the survey. However, deaths from youth suicide are only part of the problem. Actually, there are more young people who survive suicide than die. Each year, approximately 157,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries at Emergency Departments across the U.S. (CDC, 2014). The effects of youth suic... ... middle of paper ... ...In addition, efforts to promote positive mental health among teens are critical. The third key factor to effective depression/suicide prevention is positive youth development by increasing positive social and emotional connections among teens and supportive adults (King & Vidourek, 2012). Social workers can bridge the gaps between teens and their families through education and awareness of teen depression and suicide. A social worker’s duty is to be the client’s advocate and there are numerous adolescents’ voices that have been silenced by depression who need a voice of reason. Social workers can have a major impact on communities by preventing and intervening with adolescents to promote positive emotional health. With a compassionate heart and helping hands, we can aid vulnerable teens in the transition to becoming happy, healthy, productive, and thriving adults.

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