Teen suicide rates keep rising and the resources are limited

Lyn Jarrell speaks out about the rising suicide rates amongst teens


Jahlea Douglas

Sophomore Lyn Jarrell is a staff writer for Elkhart Memorial GENESIS who specializes in opinion and column writing.

Lyn Jarrell, Staff Writer

With each day that passes, another suicide is committed by a troubled teen. The teen suicide rates seem to keep rising, and the reasons are unclear.

A new study reports that the suicide rate among teens and young adults has hit its highest peak in nearly two decades. 

Suicide rates among teens have especially skyrocketed with an annual change of 10% from 2014 and 2017 for 15- to 19-year-olds, researchers said. 

The study also suggested that suicide rates for those 15- to 19-year-old, and those between 20 and 24, are at their highest level since 2000. 

With so many potential reasons and possibilities as to why the rates keep rising, it’s hard to focus on the main problem: that suicide is becoming a new norm in today’s society. 

Some argue that the popularity of social media has increased the bullying and verbal abuse that teens suffer.

It seems that the toxicity of people’s hate and anger consumes the generation, and soon, there will be nothing left but hate and anger. 

There are cries for help, but most people aren’t willing to help others out. 

In a world corrupted by societal expectations, and left over problems from past generations, teens live in a world full of selfishness, popularity statuses, and competitions against one another; teens have become hollowed out shells of a person. 

Teens feel things on a deeper level. They struggle with deeper problems. They fall deeper into bad habits and troubled life paths. 

Mental illness has spread like wildfire, and it sweeps over more and more people every day. 

Therapy sessions are expected. Medication has begun to be heavily relied on. 

Self-harm has become a normal thing among the youth. Eating disorders and self-hate and loathing has become common. 

The mind is a powerful thing. It can distort your vision and make you believe in anything. People must realize that their minds can lie to them.

Your body is naturally trying to survive, trying to send a signal to you when something is wrong, trying to protect yourself, yet your mind can try to make death seem desirable and beautiful. 

You are battling your own self. Believing things about yourself that are not necessarily true. Hearing the cruel and hateful words that society throws at you. 

The youth are struggling as a whole. Maybe it has something to do with home-life problems, school problems, bullying, or simply just becoming so consumed by one’s own self-deprecation and hate. 

No matter what the reasons are, suicide is the option that most people turn to, when they feel as though they’ve hit rock bottom. 

When they feel as though they’ve got no other choice, no one to turn to, just feeling lost. Maybe the constant feeling of anxiousness and fear has gotten to be too much to handle. 

People become tired. Tired of fighting the battles that they seem to have no chance of winning from. 

Pretending to be fine or okay, the act of putting on a fake face, or a mask, is exhausting. 

Only when teens are alone, do they feel as though they can take the mask off. Only when they are hidden from the judgmental eyes of society. 

Society is like a pack of hyenas. They tear people apart and make them feel like nothing. 

Maybe they don’t get the appreciation that they deserve, or maybe they’ve just been ignored and alone for too long, and the only option that seems desirable, is suicide. 

It is so easy to give up. It is so easy to end it all. To make it all stop. 

But why are these things happening? How do we prevent them? How do we go about them? 

People are afraid to fully acknowledge the problem, and to talk about it because they’re afraid it might give someone else the idea to attempt it. 

It seems like a never-ending nightmare, like there is no escaping it. I’m afraid that one of these days, suicide will be so normal, that it will no longer be taken seriously, or considered a problem. 

We need more counseling centers, more support systems and support groups. We need to advertise Suicide Hotlines more often, as well as other mental health hotlines. 

We need to keep announcing that fact that there are people who can help. We need to continuously provide information about places and people teens can call, or go to, that can help them with certain situations. 

We need to constantly keep letting people know that there are people who understand how they feel, and that there are people and places that they can turn to, when in a time of need. 

Suicide is a humongous problem, and if we don’t try to help it, or prevent it, one of these days, it’ll be too late. 

People are struggling mentally and physically, whether we want to admit it or not. Anyone can be dealing with problems. 

In order to make a difference, we need to treat the problem with compassion, and empathy. We need to take the problems seriously, and gently. 

Forcing someone to open up, can be backfiring. Don’t give up on people so easily. Just offer your support. When someone is ready to talk, they will let you know.

Be considerate. Don’t judge. Just listen. Sometimes, all teens are looking for is someone to listen to them, not a response. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, there are ways you can get help. You can contact hotlines or talk to someone you trust. It may seem as though you are alone, but you aren’t. Reach out for help when you need it. 

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Email Lyn Jarrell at [email protected].