Teen suicide is very common in the world today. Over the years the issue of suicide has been slowly increasing. It is now the third leading cause of death among young people. In Malawi, there have been increase in registered suicide cases to 208 in January to August 2022 as compared to 160 of 2021 in the same period.

The effects of suicide are tragic and felt long after the individual has taken their own life. Some people who consider suicide, however, never make “serious” attempt at it. For every attempted suicide, there is said to be more than one person whose thought of suicide has never translated into an actual attempt. Suicide prevention largely targets teenagers in hope to lower the numbers of suicides per year.

Depression, anxiety and, stress are the leading causes of adolescent suicide. These causes can be prevented in different ways.

Most importantly, emphasis should be much placed on the importance of identifying warning signs and risk factors for depression and suicidal ideations amongst teens. According to a research conducted by King (2012), early detection of suicidal warning signs is seen to be more crucial for effective intervention. Some of the warning signs include: the person always talks about “wanting to die or kill oneself” “talking about feeling hopeless” “talking about being burden to others” “display extreme mood swings” “withdrawing or feeling isolated” “increasing the use of alcohol or drugs”. When such signs start trickling in, seek medical advice or counselling from a close colleague.

Additionally, as most teenagers spend most of their time in school, better prevention and intervention programs need to be in place. Teens should be given an environment where they can feel comfortable opening up to someone how they feel. A key component in preventing teen suicide linked to depression is for the teens to feel socially connected to others, this protection factor has been linked to positive reduction in suicide cases amongst teenagers.

Teenagers need to be encouraged to be more proactive when it comes to their personal mental health. Positive copying mechanisms such as problem-solving skills, and good effective communication skills are all essential in lessening the likelihood that a teen exhibiting depressive behaviors will go forth and take their own life.

Furthermore, association with alcoholic products plays a crucial role in suicide ideation. When alcohol dependence fuses with depression in teens, the risk of suicide increases. Many who attempt suicide are under the influence of alcohol when the attempt is made. The direct effects of alcohol include blunting of judgement and facilitation of tendency towards suicidal behavior. So, avoid excessive alcohol use may prevent suicide cases among the teenagers.

In conclusion, it is more likely for adolescents to commit suicide than older people. It should be clearly noted that early identification of depression and timely interventions on adolescents who have suicidal ideation provide a good chance of suicide prevention among the teens.

By Lucius C. Gerrald|Mental Health Advocate|+265884132259

2 thoughts on “Dealing with teen suicide thoughts

  1. Same Maguya

    The problem we have as youths we don’t share our problems with friends to help us how best we can solve what we are encountering

  2. Brown Scott

    Sometimes we stress on things which are not worthwhile. Sometimes we try to fit in when actually the situation is demanding our peculiarity (the true us). We keep impressing community by pretending we have money or coming from an affluent family and we move on borrowing clothes or money from friends to shine in the ghetto. This is costly…and failing to accept who you really are brings more stresses. We have to bear in mind everything has its own time…and we need to learn to be patient.

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