Preventing child and adolescent suicide

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Abiola Asekun, a medical student at Sumy State University, Ukraine. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Suicide is a major public health problem because of the economic and human cost to individuals, community, and the society at large. It is very tragic because it could have been avoided. Suicide is relatively rare among children, but increases greatly during adolescence. It is the third leading cause of death for 15 to 24 years olds after accidents and homicide according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report about suicide is exceptionally unpleasant, on the grounds that you can’t resist the urge to feel that there is something that might have been finished. The considerations of if by some stroke of good luck; I knew, I had focused harder, I read the admonition signs, could leave an enduring alarm of responsibility. This article will count the admonition indications of suicide and how we as gatekeepers (guardians, instructors, sofas) can forestall it among children, youths and and family.

Reasons for comiting suicide amongst children and adolescents

Children who have psychological disorder, especially depression, bipolar disorder, and alcohol/drug abuse, chronic pain or illness may result to suicide.

Also, people who face some sort of discrimination, shame or embarrassment, like; struggling with gender identity or sexuality in an unsupportive family or community, refugees and migrants, indigenous peoples, LGBTI peoples, prisoners.

Emotional traumas like: Physical or sexual abuse, relationship breakup, loss of a family member, divorced parents and children living in a house of domestic violence.

Warning signs of suicide in children and adolescents

Most children and teenagers have days when they might be pitiful or irate at the world. However, there are a few signs they really wanted to get proficient assistance with, like; past self-destructive endeavors, self-destructive dangers, distraction or fixation on death, pulling away from loved ones, participating in hazard taking practices, losing revenue in everyday schedule, and many others.

Possible recommendations to prevent suicide

Everyone has a role to play in the prevention of suicide, as long as we can do the following;

Knowing the warning signs: four out of every five suicide deaths are preceded by warning signs. Knowing this can help us provide adequate support.

Limiting access to means of suicide: removing guns from the house, pesticides and certain medications.

Improving access to mental health resources; like hiring a therapist, include medical interventions and support groups, effective clinical care for mental disorders and family and community support. Helping teens cope with loss.

Guardians ought to likewise keep great correspondence with their children so they can realize when something isn’t right and attempt to get what circumstance their youngsters are going through to give assistance. Also they should continuously view self-destructive propensities in a serious way and react right away. Finally, they should also guarantee their children that there is trust. and always try not to attempt to fix the issue, rather get proficient assistance.

References

  1. Cammarata, Christina M., ed. “About Teen Suicide (for Parents) – Nemours Kidshealth.” KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation, October 2020. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/suicide.html.
  2. AMERICA’S HEALTH RANKINGS. “Explore Teen Suicide in the United States | 2021 Health of …” Health of Women and Children. Accessed October 25, 2021. https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/health-of-women-and-children/measure/teen_suicide/state/ALL.
  3. WHO. “Suicide.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization. Accessed October 25, 2021. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/suicide.
  4. M;, Pelkonen M;Marttunen. “Child and Adolescent Suicide: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Approaches to Prevention.” Paediatric drugs. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed October 25, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12662120/.

About the author

A medical student at Sumy State University, Ukraine. Dependable, ready to learn, aspiring to specialize and seize new opportunities, looking to improve current medical skills by studying the analytical parts of medicine.

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