"Suicide - A Coward's Act"
“Suicide – A Coward’s Act”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100,000 or one death every 40 seconds. Overall, the suicide rate among teens has climbed in the past few years, from 6.3% in 2009 to 7.8% in 2011. In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide.

Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female). Most people are uncomfortable with the topic of suicide. Too often, victims are blamed, and their families and friends are left defamed. As a result, people do not talk openly about suicide. Thus an important public health problem is left masked in mystery, which limits the amount of information available to those working to prevent suicide.

Presently, this problem has become more prevalent among teens. The scandalous statistics have forced us to dig down deep into this problem and look at it in a global perspective, in order to prevent suicide cases. It is very important to comprehend the intricacies of this problem which varies with age and gender.

Whatever is the medium adopted for committing suicide, it’s more important to know the factors that influence suicide cases and various changes in the behaviour pattern of the individual. When there is tough time coming on its way, there is always a symptom much before. It is important for the family around teen and young adults, to have a watch over them always.

Some of the changes in the behaviour pattern are: Change in eating and sleeping habits, Withdrawal from friends, family, and regular activities, Violent actions, rebellious behaviour, or running away, Unusual neglect of personal appearance, Marked personality change, Persistent boredom, difficulty concentrating, or a decline in the quality of schoolwork, Frequent complaints about physical symptoms, often related to emotions, such as stomach aches, headaches, fatigue, etc.

While we look at the variations in the behaviour pattern, it is crucial to scrutinise the causes of the same. Some of the factors which influence suicide cases are: History of depression or other mental illness, Alcohol or drug abuse, Stressful life event or loss, Easy access to lethal methods, Exposure to the suicidal behaviour of others, Incarceration, Prior suicide attempt, Parental psychopathology, Hopelessness, Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies, History of physical or sexual abuse, Impaired parent-child relationships, Lack of involvement in school and/or work etc.

Suicide results from many complex socio-cultural factors and is more likely to occur during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis. The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) provides a forum for national and local organisations, researchers, volunteers, clinicians and professionals to share knowledge, provide support and to collaborate in suicide prevention around the world.

It is essential to monitor the problem and develop programs to prevent youth suicide. Some of the measures that parents, teachers and society as a whole, can adopt are:
• The state and local educational agencies and schools have to promote safety and help teach students the skills needed to prevent injuries and violence. Schools must design and implement strategies to prevent suicide and promote behavioral health.
• Include tools to implement a multi-faceted suicide prevention program that responds to the needs and cultures of students. One of the primary goals of effective suicide prevention strategies among young people is to reduce suicide risk factors.
• The media plays a powerful role in educating wide and varied audiences about suicide prevention. The media can inform readers and viewers about the likely causes of suicide and about warning signs, trends in suicide rates, and recent advances in prevention.
• Educators and parents must turn their attention to the emotional and social needs of gifted and talented youngsters. It is important to remember that some youngsters may be at risk.
• According to the American Association of Sociology, it is urgent to promote and create conditions (in the family, school environment, and community) that will nurture cognitive and effective needs of young people.

As they walk through this darkness of life, it is important to make them understand that no matter what after every sunset, there is sun rise which would add colors to their life. Before it’s too late, we need to nurture and inspire our children to face life in the right spirits.

For further reference:

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