Adolescent Health Risk Seminar: Suicide
Being rare among children, the statistics of suicide cases increases in adolescent age. It appears to be one of the leading causes of death among youth. According to Bilsen (2018), “Suicide deaths account for about one fifth of all deaths among European older adolescents and young adults together (15–29 years), representing about 24,000 deaths each year” (para. 4). In addition, Bilson marks that is presents the most frequent cause of death among female adolescents (2018). Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to explore this issue properly in order to contribute to its solution in the long run.
An Overview of the Risk Factors
Adolescents appear to be vulnerable to suicide commitment due to a range of factors. Bilsen (2018) states: “about 90% of people who commit suicide have suffered from at least one mental disorder”; and therefore, it is the major risk factor (para. 6). Apart from it, specific personality traits may lead to such an action. For instance, attempts to commit suicide are frequently accompanied by impulsivity. Thoughts about interrupting life may process for several weeks and months, though the action is taken suddenly and unexpectedly. The last widely spread factor, which is involved in 50% of cases, is family background (Bilsen, 2018). Pressure and conflicts within the family may prompt suicide in some cases.
Apart from the major circumstances probably leading to suicide, there are contributing factors, which might not be evident. For instance, there is a strong link between previously taken attempts to self-harm in various ways to interrupt life and actual suicide cases. Furthermore, a history of having mental disorders, such as depression or addiction, within a family makes an individual prepossessed to suicide. However, the precise influence is not researched thoroughly, as adolescents do not similar in these conditions (Edelman et al., 2014). Another factor, which is important in the context of suicide statistics, is the availability of means. Adolescents are free to use a range of ways to interrupt their lives.
Prevalence of the Health Risk
Occasionally, some external factors may prompt youth to commit suicide. For instance, it is a common sight that adolescents find it difficult to cope with breakups with their girlfriends and boyfriends. According to Bilsen (2018), they are extremely sensitive at this age, and such happenings may lead to depression and a desire to end their life. Another widespread reason for suicide is molestation realized by close people. Adolescents struggle to cope with that, as it affects their self-esteem and world perception in general. They may feel a threat from everybody or do not understand their value at all.
The Role of Health Care Practitioners in This Issue
Despite all the hardships involved in suicide prevention, the role of health care practitioners in addressing this issue cannot be underestimated. They may indicate prepossession to committing suicide, using the criteria demonstrated in the scheme. In these conditions, health care providers should insist on completing psychotherapy or advice psychiatry counseling for a patient who is considered to be vulnerable to suicidal thoughts. In addition, it is crucial to contact family members and discuss this problem with them.
How to Indicate that a Person Needs Urgent Help? (Quick test)
People may contribute to suicide prevention by identifying specific warnings. I am willing to offer you to choose the common actions to form the list on the slide, which you consider the signs of suicidal intentions.
The answer: in general, all the presented signs may warn of suicidal intentions. In it circuital to take into consideration personal traits of an individual and her or her habitual behavioral patterns and notice the changes.
Identifying a Problem
As it is evident from the test, it is possible to notice that an adolescent is likely to hurt himself or herself via special warnings, which imply changes in behavioral patterns and habits. However, it is essential to differentiate depression and the threat to commit suicide, and a special feature of the latter can be discussions about death and ways of ending life. In addition, such adolescent tends to give their possessions and farewell their relatives. They often say that they do not have the reason to live and interest in continuing their existence.
Addressing the Issue Personally
There is no doubt it is essential to insist on professional care when unexpectedly encountering a suicidal individual. However, occasionally, the situation may require urgent intervention in order to prevent a lethal outcome. In these circumstances, it is vital to comprehend that attempt to end life may be a desperate cry for help. It is advisable to encourage threatened adolescents to discuss their problems and listen to them carefully, asking about their suicidal feelings (American Psychological Association, 2009). In such a situation, a person should not be left alone, even for a moment. In the process of conversation, it is essential to advise adolescent professional care.
Addressing the Issue on the Governmental Level
Suicide is worth being prevented on the governmental level in order to significantly reduce statistics. In this context, support from health care providers, especially psychologists and psychiatrists, appears to be the priority. An important feature about the national strategy implies its comprehensiveness, as it should include health, education, labor, law, and a variety of other spheres. Moreover, an effective measure could be increasing awareness about suicide, which should contribute to understanding this event by the broad public (American Psychological Association, 2009). The last crucial action regards clear registration of cases in order to understand the effect of the deterioration of statistics.
Help and support resources
Another effective measure of suicide prevention includes supplying sufficient help and support resources. Today, a range of helplines are established to intervene in the attempts to end life. For instance, the American Association of Sociology is aimed to provide support for various categories of the population, offering numerous measures. It is possible to receive quick help online via their official website. In addition, the organization has a range of support groups, which are easy to join. Another way offered by the association is the journal devoted to this topic (Support groups, n. d.). Therefore, the American Association of Sociology allows everybody in need to receive essential help.
In the context of present-day developments, suicide appears to be a widely spread problem among adolescents. There is a variety of warning signs and risk factors, which can indicate the prepossession to commit suicide. The most illustrative ones imply speaking about death and having to reason to live. However, today, there is a possibility to make a difference. Developing countries have established strategies for suicide intervention, and a range of support and help resources exist. Consequently, it is possible to notice a positive tendency, though a significant number of measures should be taken in the future.
American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association
Bilsen, J. (2018). Suicide and youth: Risk factors. Front Psychiatry, 9(540). Web.
Edelman, C. L., Mandle, C. L., & Kudzma, E. C. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span. Elsevier Mosby.
Support groups. (n. d.). American Association of Sociology. Web.