The idea of youth committing suicide mystifies our societal logic. We do not understand the reasons why youth -normally associated with energy, determination and possibilities- turn to such a final act as a solution. Suicide eventually enters all of our lives, either directly or indirectly. However, the situation becomes more cruel and unfair when a youth commits suicide. We can not help but think of the opportunities and potential lost so swiftly for one so young. Although adolescent suicide is a current crisis in today’s Canadian society, youth for all of history and in all cultures have resorted to this ultimate form of self-destruction. Clearly we have and always have had, a teenage dilemma needing desperate attention. Canada is currently in a youth suicide crisis situation. Our suicide rates are above that of the United States as well as other auspicious countries. For example, in young men aged fifteen to nineteen, the rate of suicide “is 60 percent higher than in the United States.”1 UNICEF has declared that adolescent suicide is Canada’s major tragedy. Our youth are unable to cope and unable to successfully find the kind of help they need to help themselves. The results are tragic and unnecessary.
Youth take their own lives for a plethora of reasons, although none of these reasons should actually constitute an attempt at suicide. What is it then, that brings a teen to commit suicide? What factors lead to suicidal tendencies on the part of the adolescent? The enigma of youth suicide is multidimensional. As we will discover herein, the major theories on youth suicide can be categorized into three fundamental causes. Adolescent suicide is the result of one, or a...
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... Suicide, (New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 1992), 19.
3. Psychology Today, (California: CRM Books, 1970), 494.
4. Ibid., 496.
5. Robert Kastenbaum, The Psychology of Death, (New York: Springer Publishing Co., 1976), 236.
6. Laura Dolce, The Encyclopedia of Health: Suicide, (New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 1992), 33.
Dolce, Laura. The Encyclopedia of Health: Suicide, New York: Chelsea House
Haim, Andre. Adolescent Suicide, New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1976.
Kastenbaum, Robert. The Psychology of Death, New York: Springer Publishing Co.,
Leenaars, Antoon A. et al. Suicide in Canada, Toronto: University of Toronto Press,
Psychology Today: An Introduction, California: CRM Books, 1970
Wrobleski, Adina. Suicide: Why?, Minnesota: Afterwords Publishing, 1989.
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