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1.    
Introduction

Suicide
is defined by Youthline (2014, p .1) as
“the act of intentionally killing oneself”. It can be stated that suicide now
is becoming a serious health issue in many countries with nearly 80,000 deaths
each year worldwide, means that every 40
seconds, someone dies by suicide (WHO, n.d). This increasing number of death
cases puts suicide becoming the tenth leading cause of death in United State
and the third leading cause of death among teenagers between the age from 10 to 14 (Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 2015). The statistic of Carroll (2017) estimated that between 2007
and 2015, suicide rates of teen boys rocketed from 10.8 to 14.2 per 100,000 and
from 2.4 to 5.1 per 100,000 in teen girls. These number are really need to be
concerned because it prove that now suicide attempts not only appear in adult
minds but also affect the thinking of adolescents. This paper is aimed at raising
awareness about teenage suicide, including its causes, methods and solutions, as well as
giving useful advice to help teenagers overcome suicide attempts and suicide
behaviors.

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2.    
Discussion
of findings

2.1.        
Background
information of teenage suicide

Teenage suicide or suicidal adolescent is “the loss of
life among the young” (Kok & Goh, 2011, para. 2). According
to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015), suicide is a growing
health issue which has significant impacts in the life of young people, become
the third main reason for death of young adults between 10 and 24 years old.

Shocking
statistics have been published to describe how serious this matter is.  Each year, there were nearly 4,600 adolescent
suicide cases occurred worldwide and this number has increased almost threefold
since the 1940s (Centers for Disease Control, 2015). According to the alarming
statistics from Psychology Benefits Society (2013), each day there are about 12
young people die by self-killing methods and meanwhile, 25 suicide ideations
are created. Over the last few decades, a climbing trend of teenage suicide has
been noticed and reported not only in developed countries but also in some poor
nations. In Malaysia, nearly 7% of adolescents attempted suicide and had self-killing
ideation (Kok & Goh, 2011). This number does not different much in U.S,
with 14.5% of students between the ages 14 to 17 told that they usually had
suicide thoughts and even turned them into actions (Cash & Bridge, 2009).
There is more, as reported by Youthline (2014), suicide trend in New Zealand
had taken life of 124 teenagers in 2011, ranked secondly compared with other
countries in Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development – OEDC. These rates was totally shocking and need to be
worried. Lubin et al. (2001) and Bilic et al. (2002) (as cited in Chatterjee
& Basu, 2010) shared the same opinion that the datas of deaths from suicide
were varied from many nations, however, this rising number among adolescents
was universally similar.

Additionally, there were a huge gap in suicide rate between young male
and young female. “Boys are more likely than girls to
die from suicide”, Centers for Disease Control (2015, para. 4) stated in their report.
They also showed the number of male teenagers’s death accounted for about 81%
while female teenagers’s death only made up 19%. While suicide actions are more
common in boys, girls tend to have a higher number of suicide attempts and
thinking than boys, Centers for Disease Control wrote. Cash and Bridge (2009,
para. 3) also shared the same thinking with Centers for Disease Control, they said
“While suicide rates are higher among boys than                                                                    girls, girls have higher rates of suicidal
ideation and attempted suicide”. This idea was totally argreed by Youthline
(2014) that young male is a high risk group since 1967, with the number of this
group’s deaths increased three-time higher than young female group. The
mysterious reasons for this huge gap was explained by Durkheim’s statement (1951,
as cited in Kok & Goh, 2011) that the emotions of male adolescents always
easier affected than female teenagers, resulted in higher risk of suicide. The
male tend to keep their personal secrets
for
themselves and have less
conversation with anothers
about their problems, unlike girls, they usually run away from their
difficulties by actual suicide actions (Koh & Goh, 2011).

It
is obviously that deaths of young people can bring the grief and pain to their
families, friends, communities, even caused the loss of  money in economy of the country (Youthline,
2014).

2.2.        
Possible
causes of teenage suicide

“Risk
factors – things that increase the likelihood that a child will engage in suicidal
behavior”, Kaslow (n.d, para. 2) defined. Recently, number of reasons for the
prevalence of suicide ideation among teenagers have been found. In the research
of Kok and Goh (2011), they found out three main reasons for youth suicide by
investigating 270 young people’s perspectives in West Malaysia. These factors
including family problems, confict in romantic relationship and academic results.
The suprising result was that problems in a boy-girls relationship became the
first leading causes of suicide in both sexs, while family issues and academic
factors only ranked second and third, respectively. Another report from Chatterjee
and Basu (2010) indicates a similar situation in India where trouble in love was
chosen as one of the main  reasons for self-killing
thought by 63% of young female participants. Also in this report, Chatterjee an
Basu described sad love events as factors which evoke depression, loneliness and
stress in youth mental health, leading to what we call “suicide behavior”.

Family
is also one of the main contributors related to suicide actions among this
vulnerable group. Family factors including loss of family connection or family
members, family history of suicide, parent divorce and parent poor caring (Bridge
et al., 2006, as cited in Cash & Bridge, 2009). Brent and Mann (2005, as
cited in Cash & Bridge, 2009) strongly believed that suicide attempt can be
transferred from parents to children in a “genetic” ways. Nevertheless, US
Department of Health and Human Services (n.d, as cited in Howard, 2017) and
Poijula, Wahlberg and Dyregrow (2001, as cited in Youthline, 2014) agrued that
it is the copycat effects, not about the heredity. To be specific, both views
described suicide “infection” within family as the reaction after seeing one of
the closest family members has suicide behaviors or ideation and then imitate
it. Another suicide risk factors associating to family is family status.
Children under the age of 16 whose family was broken or living with single
parent were reported being more likely to face with mental health illness,
leading to suicide actions (Cash & Bridge, 2009). Moreover, lack of
connection between parent-child relationship can be a source of anxiety,
loneliness and stress among this young group. The reasons were indicated by Kok
and Goh (2011) that many modern parents now are busier with work and left their
child alone with their emotions.

Last
but not least, academic achievement can also be one of the barrier that many adolescents
have to face these days. In China, a large percentage of students insisted that
they usually feel pressure with their academic performance as their parents
always have a high expectation on them (Kok & Goh, 2011). This pressure
does not appear only in study environments of Chinese students  but also happen in many schools in Korea. Described
by Hong (n.d, as cited in CNN, 2011), a huge number of mistaken thinking about
money and position in society from parents have been poured into Korean
students mind since they were just a little child. Consequently, these students
believe that study is the only way to become success and begin to feel like a burden
if they can not please their parents.

2.3.        
Common
methods of teenage suicide

There
are several suicide methods which were chosen by adolescents to put an end to
their life. Examing the ways of suicide in teenagers, Bridge, Goldstein and
Brent (2006, as cited in Cash & Bridge, 2009)  introduced firearms as the leading method of
suicide for youth in America, followed by asphyxia and self-poisoning. Cash and
Bridge also pointed out that suicide death cases by hanging among adolescents
aged 10 to 14 and 15 to 19 in America between 2003 and 2004 rose significantly
from 0.31 to 0.68 per 100,000 person (119%) and from 1.24 to 1.78 (44%), in
turn. Also, in New Zealand, Youthline (2014) claimed that hanging, suffocation
and asphyxiation were the most common methods of teenage suicide in 2011.”In
this older age group, the primary method chosen by boy is firearms, yet for
girls, the common method is suffocation”, Simon (as cited in Scutti, 2017, para.
21) shared another opinion about the different in ways of suicide between male
and female teenagers in an article published by CNN. Also, in this article,
Tisher (as cited in Scutti, 2017) said that there were a dramatic number of
female adolescents tend to use overdose as a way of suicide.

As
firearms were chosen by many adolescents in suicide actions, Caroll (2017)
shared his own view about the “popular” of this method. He said “most suicides
are impulsive” (para. 13), most of suicide decisions come suddenly and they
these people know that only firearms are “devastatingly efficient” (Caroll,
2017, para.14). According to another statistic of Caroll, over 85% of completed
teenage suicide related to gun while self-poisoning made up much less
percentage. All these figure mean that having access to gun or owning a gun in
house can increase the number of successful suicide cases among young people.

2.4.        
Solutions
for teenage suicide

While
the suicide rates among youth keep increasing and talking about suicide
prevention is difficult, there are still some effective solutions have been found to reduce this problem.
Suicide behavior is still a large taboo subject and not easy to treat in young
people, therefore, it usually requires treatments which different from adults
(Youthline, 2014).

In the survey of Kok and Goh
(2011), they asked 270
youth aged 15-24 about the first person they would talk to when they had
encountered suicide thoughts and the result was surprised everyone. While peers
and family members made up almost 46% and 33% of the answer from these
youngster, respectively, teachers seem to be the least common source. After
viewing this result, it is obviously that peers are the most reliable source of
help and have a significant impact on the thinking of youth as they “serve as
guides and role models” (Kok & Goh, 2011, p. 36).

 

 

 

 

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