To the Editor:
Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths for ages 10-24. Every day there is an average of 5,400 suicide attempts in our nation and an average of 4,600 teen/youth suicide deaths per year. Annually 157,000 children receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries. Suicide, a clear problem in our nation, is continuing to grow, and there is a strong link connected with bullying.
Bullying-related suicides have drawn attention to bullying; however, more attention needs to be brought to the fact bullying is a big issue. A study done in Britain found that at least half of suicides are related to bullying. Many people in our society consider bullying as part of being a kid, but bullying is a serious problem that contributes to negative effects on young children. Bullied children are two to nine times more likely to commit suicide. Twenty percent of high school students have seriously considered suicide, and 7 percent have attempted.
Depression, withdrawal from others, trouble sleeping or eating are just a few warning signs. Four of five teens that have attempted suicide showed clear warning signs, so as parents or peers it is important we pick up on these early warnings. These warning signs can resemble being a typical teenager but be proactive and have a conversation with that child.
It is important as parents to teach our children not to bully someone, and if your child is being bullied, it is important to talk to your child and the bully. No one at the age of 10 should feel the need to want to commit suicide. Teach and talk to your children about bullying. It is a bigger problem in our children’s lives than some think.
Morgan Burke, YSU Student Nurse