Essay on The Issue Of Teen Suicide Rates

Essay on The Issue Of Teen Suicide Rates

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Teen suicide rates are on the rise in Canada. Between the years 1952 and 1995, teen suicide levels exploded by more than 600%, leaving Canada with the third highest adolescent suicide rate in the world (Furi & Guimont, 2003). In fact, Canada’s risk of teen suicide is so great that the Parliamentary Research Branch has estimated that between 70 and 80% of all Canadian teens think about committing suicide before they graduate high school (Furi & Guimont, 2003). The thought that a majority of high school students think about ending their own life at some point is difficult to comprehend; yet in British Columbia alone, approximately 500 people commit suicide every single year (Crisis Intervention Center and Suicide Prevention Center of BC, 2014). Canada’s Aboriginal population is especially at risk, with an alarming number of First Nation’s youth committing suicide every year (MacNeil, 2008). Clearly then, adolescent suicide is a national problem and thus nation-wide prevention programs must be put in place for at-risk teens. As noted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (2013), an increased awareness of suicide through universal educational programming is a critical component of mental wellbeing and suicide prevention in youth. Prevention programs aimed at identifying depression in at-risk youth, as well as implementing nationwide educational programs that focus on helping adolescents develop protective factors may help curb the high rates of depression and suicide among today’s youth.

With so many Canadian teens admitting to contemplating suicide at least once during their high school years, it is exceptionally difficult for organizations and preventions programs to know which individuals are at the greatest risk. This...


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...reas of social relationships, academic success or other areas important to the overall wellbeing and health of the individual (Furi & Guimont, 2003). If the symptoms of depression are persistent, the individual experiencing them may be at a hugely increased risk for suicide. Regrettably, many of these teens go unnoticed. It is estimated that at least eight out of ten teens suffering from severe depression and thoughts of suicide attempt to access support from family members, friends, or other support groups prior to committing an act of suicide, only to have their cries for help ignored or undermined (Furi & Guimont, 2003). Unfortunately, many of the early warning signs of depression and suicidal ideation may be often misunderstood as nothing more than typical teenage angst, thus denying many at-risk youth the support they so desperately need (Steinberg, 2013).

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