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Canada witnesses more than 500 suicides per year among those 15 to 24 years old, with the next most common cause of death being cancer at 156 deaths per year. It has been estimated that for each completed suicide, there are approximately 400 attempts that would mean 200 000 youth attempt suicide each year…200 000 Canadian teens feel so alone, lost, overwhelmed and depressed that they believe it would be better to be dead than alive. 200 000 youth a year crying out for help in such a drastic way because they do not know they matter. 200 000 teens that desperately need someone to be there, to show them what their worth is and that they are loved, that they are important, that the world wants and needs them.
Warning signs for adolescent suicide
The following are some common warning signs of adolescent suicide:
• Sudden change in behaviour
• Change in eating patterns
• Unusual preoccupation with death or dying
• The giving away of valued personal possessions
• Signs of depression
• Adapted from the Canadian Mental Health Association.33
3.2 million teens in Canada are at risk of developing depression.
Only 1 in 5 youth who are in need of mental health treatment receive the help they need.
Canada is the 3rd highest suicide rate of all industrialized countries.
Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are the second highest expenditure for hospital care in Canada and still only 1 in 5 youth receive mental health treatment needed.
approximately 5% of male and 12% of female youth have already experienced a major depressive episode in their lifetime (CMHA).
• It has been found in major epidemiological studies that approximately
50-70% of all adult mental disorders commence during adolescence
Many people don’t think about or avoid the topic of mental illness. It seems to be a scary topic to most people, and it is a scary topic but ignoring it doesn’t make it go away it makes it worse.
We could solve the epidemic of teen suicide by being proactive, by fixing the problem before it gets to the point where a child or youth feels alone. It is our apathy, our lack of action that allows so many youth to fall through the cracks, to feel helpless and alone.
Imagine if we treated all illnesses the way we treat mental illness. What if we told heart attack victims or stroke patients to stop being a baby and walk it off.
What if we told someone with a broken leg to forget their pain and just deal with it because we were too busy to help them and sick of hearing about it.
A person who knows their worth can never be made to feel worthless. So how do we teach someone of their worth? By giving them our most precious commodity Our time. By listening to them, If we are actively listening they have a chance to talk about what is going on with them. If we actively show an interest in their lives and unconditionally love them there is more chance of them knowing how important they are.