Teen Suicide Jumps 29% In Ten Years

Gwen McNulty, Lion's Roar Staff

Suicide rates in teens have sky-rocketed over the past decade, jumping about 29% over the past decade alone according to the United Health Foundation. A leading cause of this is mental illness in teens, especially depression, in which suicidal thoughts and actions may occur. About 49.5% of teens have a mental disorder, 22.2% of them having severe impairment according to the National Institute of Health.

So what are some of the leading causes of depression in teens? A lot of them center around poor self-esteem. High school is a cruel place, along with hormones running wild. It is completely normal for a teenager to feel as if they are out of place, or if they are not good enough. Unfortunately, this does lead to depression, and later, even suicidal thoughts and harmful actions. 

Just because poor self-esteem is a leading cause, does not mean it is the only one, however. School, and the pressures that come with it, is also another cause. Life in school is difficult, filled with fake friends and people that teens may put on a pedestal, people that do not care. Social life is like a shark tank in high school, and no one is spared from it. And unfortunately, this effects people’s mental health, especially when they feel isolated and, more often than not, hopeless.

So what can solve this? Of course, speaking to a doctor if these feelings are overwhelming is the priority. However, what people can do for their teens now is offer them their ears and the knowledge that they are loved. On top of that, mental health days can really help. Having a day to recharge one’s batteries is beneficial for everyone, no matter the age and no matter the party. It is beneficial for the child because they get a day to relax; their moods will be better and they will be far more laid-back, even if it’s only for a little while. It’s beneficial for the parent because they get to see their child happy, and moods are quite contagious. 

If you or anyone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts or are harming themselves, please call 988 and your doctor.