September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day. The truth is that everyday needs to be suicide prevention awareness day. Suicide is not a topic that people tend to discuss, but it needs to be given some serious attention.
Suicide claims the lives of 40,000 people in the United States each year. It is the third leading cause of death for 10-14 year olds and the second leading cause of death for 15 - 24 year olds. (suicidology.org)
There are many reasons that a person may consider taking their own life. They may be struggling with a mental illness such as depression, which alters the biochemistry in the brain, making it difficult for them to experience positive emotions. It is important that we think of mental illness in the same way we think about any other illnesses in the body. The brain is an organ just like the heart and the lungs. We don't think less of someone or blame them if they have asthma. We shouldn't do that if they have a mental illness either.
There may also be many things happening in a person's life that can make them feel trapped and hopeless. As teenagers, you might be experiencing bullying or you might be feeling pressured into doing things that you don't want to do. Maybe you have lived through a traumatic event and you are having difficulty recovering from it. Any of these things, along with many others not mentioned here, have the potential to leave you feeling hopeless and alone.
If you are feeling this way, it is important that you talk with someone. The best place to start would be your parents. If you do not feel comfortable talking with your parents, then you can speak with your school social worker or guidance counselor. There is support out there for you. You do not have to go through this alone.
Suicide Prevention Resources
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