Why Are More and More Teens Contemplating Suicide?

Why Are More and More Teens Contemplating Suicide?

Bethany Baker, Senior Staff Writer

In 2019, right before the Covid Pandemic, The CDC reports that there were 11.1 deaths by suicide per 100,000 adolescents ages 15-19.  There were 5.2 female teen suicides per 100,000 adolescents ages 15-19, 16.7 per 100,000 teen suicides were male.  The CDC also reported that suicide was the second leading cause of death among peoples ages 10-34 at that time.  These stats should be distressing, particularly since the number is probably much higher since the pandemic.  However, the data forces all to ask: Why are more and more teens contemplating and committing suicide? 

The pandemic has created ideal conditions for stressors in kids and adolescents, which increase the risk of depression and suicide.  When asked why she thought teen suicide attempts are rising, senior Brynn Cook stated, “I think COVID was a big factor in teen suicide attempts rising.  Because of quarantine, everyone was forced to spend more time at home.  For a lot of teenagers, home is the last place they want to be.  For those living in abusive or unaccepting households, I imagine it was very hard on them, plus the stress of having to learn everything online.  Quarantine took a toll on everyone, but especially the teenagers that already struggle with mental illness.”

Regardless of the reasons, everyone needs to be aware and recognize signs or symptoms of what’s to come. Warning signs of suicide can be depression, losing interest in things they used to find fun, withdrawing from family and friends, neglecting their appearance, increasing substance use, or acting out.  Other signs can be increased anxiety, lack of response to praise, extreme mood swings, and extreme changes in eating or sleeping habits.

One thing a person can do if he or she thinks someone is contemplating suicide is to let them know they’re not alone.  When asked about teen suicide, freshman Addison Evans said, “To anyone out there who’s hurting, it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it’s a sign of  strength.”

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or text CONNECT to 741741