Cornwall Ontario – Writing about suicide is never a happy topic, nor is it easy. It’s hard to get the words you mean to say across, without them sounding either offensive or just down right insensitive. The only thing worse then writing about suicide, is writing about teenagers committing suicide. When you think of a teenager you think, bright future ahead with the world at their finger tips; when suicide comes to town your hopes and dreams for that child get shattered into a million tiny shards of dust.
Did you know? That in Canada, the percentage of people who have committed suicide per year is averaged at nearly 2%. A good chunk of that is directly to do with teenagers taking their own lives. Although common in adults and rare in children under the age of ten, over 200 students take their lives per year.
Lukas Taylor explains,
“Everybody knows it’s a horrible thing when it happens, but it can happen to anyone. Depending if it’s abuse, problems at home, bullying, any subjects that have already been talked on. In my opinion, I vote against it but most people see it as the only solution out, so my solution is if we all band together. If you need somebody to go talk to then just go talk to them, don’t be afraid it could help. That’s where I stand on it.”
Something to keep in mind of though is that often a teen will not go and talk to someone because they feel they have no one to go to. If the teenager feels alone and begins to act as if they are alone, eventually the teen will often lash out towards loved ones and peers or even inwardly on themselves. Whenever this happens, it is a clear sign for help. In cases such as these, if you see someone you know or care about doing anything you feel is a little strange, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Cass Wallace a first year nursing student explains,
“A lot of younger people do it because they believe that there is no alternative.”
It would be nice to think that suicide is like giants, a myth but this is not the case. It is a very common mental health issue in Canada. When a person is faced with the possibility of suicide they are almost constantly going through intolerable amounts of pain. Due to the pain, often their eyes become clouded and rational judgment to them is at a desperate measure.
Lukas Taylor confesses,
“I had a ex girl friend who had problems with depression and also some personal stuff that happened at her house… this happened long before me and her were together but she told me all about it and she talked to someone and she managed to get better and eventually pull out of it. Now she’s majoring in journalism Québec, but it was pretty scary for awhile when it was going on.”
For Canada suicide is the second highest death rate in the country. Thousands of teens try to kill them selves regularly not all succeed thankfully, but that still does not make it okay. Growing up can be hard on a person and sometimes if you’re not always strong enough, you can let teenage angst and drama get the better of you.
Cass expressed his views by saying,
“I don’t think it’s the right solution and I loose some respect for people who have done it, depending on the situation.”
What Cass should keep in mind however, is that not all depressed and suicidal teenagers actually want to die, they are simply trying to reach out. Many reasons for someone finally pulling the plug, is that they get fed up with trying to explain to the rest of the world, what really goes on it those pretty little heads of theirs. That being said, if you see or know of someone showing any signs of taking heir own life regardless of how serious it actually may prove to be, take it seriously. You have too because the one time you don’t, could be the one time you loose that person forever. Lukas finishes by saying,
“Everybody knows that the future is unpredictable. In my opinion the rate of suicide could definitely increase but that’s why everybody needs to band together. They need to find a solution before it comes to the excuse, then maybe we will be able to vanquish it.”
When facing this topic especially if it is concerning to someone close to you, speak calmly about the subject. Talking calmly about anything can only help to increase the positive in an otherwise negative situation. Listen to the one who is crying out for help, no matter who that person may be (even if you may despise that person). Don’t pass judgments or let the topic make you uncomfortable because if you are at least acting it will really help to show the person in need they are not alone and also that some one is taking the time to be there and help them. One more a key thing to remember, it is never a split second decision. Suicide in everyone’s case not just a teenager is a slow process. It is a slow forming plan that always has many different weighing factors in the decision.
Just make sure that when you see the signs, you act upon them before it is too late to stop a terrible occurrence from happening.
Editors Note: None of the area agencies in Cornwall are willing to go on record and talk about suicide in the many attempts we have made over the years. Suicide should not be a dirty secret if we as a society are to do as much as possible to prevent it.
E.V. Hutcheon is a 2nd year St. Lawrence College Journalism Student. She has professionally edited a Polish history book and is hoping to see her dream and passion of writing into a career. Previously living Toronto, E.V. is now a proud Cornwall citizen. On her off time you can usually find her at home writing her latest book, or walking along the St Lawrence River.