Confronting Youth Suicide:
Tonights program on Insight was a very confronting and emotionally challenging discussion about Youth Suicide.
Suicide is a topic we all tend to avoid talking about yet it is the main cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. In the SBS program hosted by Jenny Brockie tonight a group of 5 young people opened up in a very honest way about their own lives and their suicidal thoughts and attempts of suicide.
It horrified me to hear the tragic stories and the experiences of these beautiful young people whose lives were all in a very dark place mostly due to circumstances way out of their control.
One of them, a young woman shared her own family traumas and also the really intense pain she would have felt as 14 people she was close to had taken their own lives. The incidence of youth suicide was ridiculously high and more than any young person should have to deal with. Yet each of these kids had a very personal story of tragedy and survival
These kids have been through more than most of us could even begin to contemplate.
Thankfully they were all able to come through their experiences and begin to rebuild their lives. They found strength and help through either a close friend and confidant or by engaging with some of the facilities set up to deal with mental health issues in Australia.
Triggers for Mental Health Issues in Young People:
Young People Can Be Seriously Affected by Emotional Trauma
What most of us do not realize is the impact of trauma on young children. We so easily overlook their pain in a situation, taking more care of the adults involved. Some of the incidences which triggered severe emotional pain for these young people were:
- the break up of the parents marriage
- extreme violence in the home
- a close family member having committed suicide
- having friends who have committed suicide.
- deep feelings of being unworthy and lonely.
- an inability to cope after a head injury
- being gay in a family where religious ideologies forbid it and punish by death.
- struggling with the demands of school and/or work prospects
- the death of a close family member or friend
There are other factors which may impact negatively on a young persons well being which will cause a severe deterioration in their mental health. Youth suicide is not just a family issue but a community issue which we all need to step up and respond to . Sometimes it is those closest to them that fail to recognise the signs. You may be a teacher, apastor, a youth leader, a neighbour, a sports coach or a close friend and you may notice significant behavioral changes. Ask RUOK. Be brave enough if you are really concerned to enquire if they have considered self harm. Your caring and compassion may be all that is required to have them rethink where they are going and seek some professional help.
The Future is Positive:
These kids, with help have been able to move on with their lives and they all seem to have positive outlooks on life. They have found ways to channel their thoughts of overwhelming sadness and deal with the things which might drag them down. Talking to a friend, parent or teacher seemed to be a lifeline for these young people.
They have bright futures and they acknowledge that they are all worth fighting for. They each have something significant to contribute to society and having moved on they are all seeking to fulfill that. .
I was so impressed by the maturity and honesty of these young people tonight and I would encourage anyone who did not witness it to take a look at the program via the link below.
They have each found a place in the world where they are valued and are able to look back on their teenage years as being a dark time which they have managed to escape from.
I commend Jennie Brockie for having the courage to tackle such a delicate topic and to do it in such a dignified way.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts then listen to them and encourage them to seek help. There is a way out but sometimes it takes anothers hand to lead them through this dark and despairing place. We can all help prevent youth suicide in our communities by being aware of the signs and prepared to reach out.
Watch the Episode of Insight and use the information you learn from it wisely. You may save a young persons’ life! Jenny Brockie very sensitively interviews five young people who have all contemplated or attempted suicide in their youth.
The screenshot above indicates some worrying statistics on youth suicide. As a society and as a concerned adult we need to pay more attention to these statistics and find ways to bring about significant change.
It is my personal belief that turning our backs on God and looking after our spiritual well-being as individuals and as a society is a major contributor to the ills we see in the modern world. Ills such as the rise in substance abuse, violence especially in schools and a significant increase in various forms of mental illness.
We are more than physical beings. We are spiritual and intellectual beings as well and if we fail to nurture every aspect of our being we can only expect to see the consequences we are witnessing in our society now. Research has shown a direct link between a persons’ ability to handle stressful situations and faith. Many people find that turning to God in an attitude of prayerfulness will help the cope with the stress or illness they may be confronting
Prayer works for young and old alike. Prayer and spirituality have been linked to:
- Better health
- Less hypertension
- Less stress, even during difficult times
- More positive feelings
- Less depression
- Greater psychological well-being
- Superior ability to handle stress
Some Extra Tips By Some Young People to Help Prevent Youth Suicide
If you have found anything enlightening or helpful in this article please leave your comments below. You may have some personal experience with youth suicide in your family or among your friends and by sharing your story you may help someone else.
Thank you for reading and may God give you peace in your own heart always and courage to reach out to others.