A Brief Over View of Teen Suicide by E. V. Hutcheon January 16, 2014

suicideCornwall 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. 

Milena Cardinal



  1. The number one killer in our military today is not from the effects from battle injuries but from suicide due to the effects of PTSD. As our young vets return home from wars and are not treated for their hidden wounds for fear of release or other repercussions coming forward about their invisible wounds, the suicide rate in Canada will remain to be quite high. Such a shame when so much can be done to prevent more suicides with our falling heroes. Any story about suicide in Canada should at least mention or include the high amount of deaths in our military in my opinion as these deaths will keep the suicide numbers in Canada and the U.S. very high.

  2. Always such a sad time when a permanent solution is reached for a temporary problem

  3. @ Max. Not to make light of the tragic suicides of returning soldiers, but one has to question the mental state of anyone who would voluntarily travel half way around the world to invade a foreign country that represents no threat to Canada. Just about every volunteer soldier will tell you that he/she looks forward to engaging in battle. Once they get their wish, they find out it isn’t a movie or video game, and end up a little more screwed up than they were when they were just dreaming about the adventure. Sad but true.

  4. Furtz Every serviceman may be a volunteer to defend our country but it is the government that puts them there and should be accountable to fix them when they come back broken. You obviously never served because signing the bottom line does not give you any right to say, “Hey ! I think I will pass on this war thing”. These men and women who serve deserve better and do not glorify war but do what they were trained to do Young people18 and 19 buried up to their arses in dead bodies and afraid to get blown up or maimed forever we cannot say it’s okay now go back to work and suck it up. They are broken and we need to recognize the truth to the effects of PTSD on our military before more young or old Canadian service members take their life to cure their pain.

  5. @ Max. Everyone who voluntarily enlists has to checks their mind at the door. From that point on, they agree to follow orders no matter how crazy those orders are. You’d have to be half nuts to agree to those conditions. No?

  6. To the author.
    I did NOT know that almost 2% of the population was committing suicide each year. At that rate the odds of myself not having been to a suicide funeral since my teens are infinite and incalculable. My gratitude for my improbable luck is boundless.

    My only conclusion can be that the population of Canada is dwindling and with the current birth rate only vast immigration can keep the population of Canada becoming nil in about 79 years. Wow!

  7. Furtz A Great Big NO!!! Remember if it were not for these Crazies you would not have the rights and freedoms to share your opinion. Whenever a crisis happens anywhere in the world it is the military we turn to for aid. We are more than war machines. We are people with families and dreams and a desire to help others in trouble.Obeying orders even difficult ones is a disipline that makes our troops stronger and united. The military is a proud unselfish family doing a job that very few today can handle. Please do not put down our soldiers because you do not have the gonads to join them.

  8. @ Max. A great big yes!!! When you voluntarily join the military, you agree to follow orders no mater how crazy or sane those orders may be. Thinking and making your own decisions are not permitted. That’s a pretty basic requirement for the job.

  9. So many recruits are drawn from backwater communities where other opportunities are lacking and, I’m only speculating, but possibly, a more romantic notion of enlisting still exists.
    I wish to stress that I have great respect for our military and its history, especially the Canadian Army in the 2 WW’s.
    It seems to me that the military is a calling that requires more than simple courage, but also an almost super human level of emotional adaptability in order to survive.

  10. Part of the job of being a soldier is being trained to “kill” the enemy. When they’ve done their job, we don’t do anything to UNDO that training when they come home. A friend of mine served in Desert Storm, and again in Rwanda. One of his battalion’s jobs was to clean out a church where civilians, mostly women and children had sought shelter, and were later “butchered” (cut to pieces) by rebel soldiers. Try picking up the pieces of a baby off the floor of a church, with a shovel, and throwing it in a plastic bag, and not have it affect you in a negative way. Very little help once he got home, certainly not the amount he needs. No sane, thinking individual can expect a person to deal with that on their own. Another personal experience comes from my university days when I rented an apartment across the hall from a WWI and WWII vet. Several times I was woken by his screams in the middle of the night, and those of his wife. People in the area said he was crazy, and he was drinking himself to death. I managed to get close enough to this man that he opened up to me one night and described holding a 14 year old boy in his arms until he died. This boy was a Nazi soldier (Hitler’s Youth I assume) that he had shot to pieces. Try living with that on your own, especially when those around you, write you off as a “crazy drunk”. It’s easy to be critical about something you know nothing about. Paranoia and schizophrenia are mental illnesses that often lead to suicide if the patients go off their meds. and there are others that people are reluctant to talk about because they are mental rather than physical issues. Too many taboos around these issues still, and too often victims are not aware of any help that’s available.

  11. Some really thoughtful comments..Your all to be congratulated..seriously..no petty stuff

    This is a terrible problem but as Comedian Norm MacDonald told Jamie..he could get a new Liver
    quicker than a mental health refferal. Many of the homeless on the street are there because the Feds
    decided to close up all the mental health hospitals in Canada and USA

    Mr Furtz often agree with you…but it seems a very thin line..that i don’t understand// between “following orders” the claim made at Nuremburg by the Germans…and the brave young Canadians(my dad included) who travelled half way round the world..to stamp out evil…I am pretty sure all the brave young Canadians, of this generating, including Sgt Marc D. Leger, Age: 29, from Lancaster, Ontario killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan..thought they were doing the right thing.Pls Pls..i know your point is specific and not about WWII.
    I just am not sure if when called on…I wouldn’t just follow orders…even our second world war vets have opened up about shooting unarmed Nazi’s especially after 27 Canadians were murdered by Kurt Meyers 12th SS in Normandy.Nazi Hunters TV show points out he was tracked down after his release from Can prison and killed.
    I hold the POLITICIANS to blame ..guys like our local MP Lauzon who respond to demands that Veterans Centres remain open…with basically….a form letter of “talking points from the PMO”

    Roger…outstanding comments…my best friend just got back from Rwanda..and says while still dirt poor there is HOPE

    One need look no future than Senator Romeo Dallaire crashing his car on Parliament Hill// after nights of horror in Rwanda// brought back by four Canadian Military deaths in one week //to realize our Mental Health system needs changing. The General was once found drunk in a Hull Park after his mental health needs were not met and he openly talks about driving his car off the road trying to kill himself.Most people have NO idea how life threatening mental health issues are..and when your in that deep dark hell hole..reason goes out the window..You Only Want It to Stop.

    The Politics of War…Canadian General give Kurt Myer life instead of Death// amazing huge article
    tragedy of war and the travesty of justice when politics are allowed to interfere. Of the total 1017 fatal casualties suffered by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade in Normandy, one in seven died not in combat but in the hands of their captors. For the twenty Canadian soldiers who died at the Abbaye d’Ardenne, their memories live on.

  12. @Peter Jenkin
    Your usual thoughtful contribution . Thank you.
    Let’s also keep in mind that a considerable amount of legal autonomy has been given to the mentally ill themselves in recent years due to the tireless efforts of certain advocacy groups.This has altered the ability of the mental health community to impose treatment on the mentally. ill when they are unwilling to submit.
    This “situation” is just one of the many dynamic forces at play that suggest there is no perfect fix for this issue.

  13. True Michael. A person pretty much has to be convicted of a serious crime, or demonstrate that they are a clear danger to themself or others, before they can get help.

  14. Michael and Furtz
    I would just like to present the other side of the mental health debate
    Went to my second appointment with a Psychiatrist from Ottawa
    His secretary told me he wasn’t available for my session
    Picking up the Ottawa Citizen that night…the headline story
    was Ottawa doctor arrested and held in jail for embezzling money from
    fellow doctors at Ottawa Hospital.
    Strike Dr One

    Doctor Two took a married patient on a tour of Europe..then charged OHIP
    for visits with her..to help pay for the trip..Needless to say her husband got
    the College of Physicians and Surgeons to take away his medical license

    Psychiatrist’s Three and Four were from Cornwall and both lost license to practice
    for having sexual relations with their female patients

    Wouldn’t want any of the four to have the power to impose treatment on me

  15. @Melman
    Thanks for your response.
    It’s not about enslaving the mentally ill to the will of one corrupt individual. Of course, it’s only right that patients under normal scenarios can flee the treatment of fraudsters of the type you’ve mentioned. I’m talking about other facets.
    For instance:
    The legal rights of the individual involve a number of issues that can be crucial when the scene turns ugly with violence. This includes, for instance, the attainment of proper legal representation for the mentally ill when they commit a seriuos crime and refuse to accept the advice of their loved ones (family and otherwise). These scenarios can result in the mentally ill person forcefully seeking to be represented as a sane person when the proper diagnosis would prove otherwise. The ill person ends up doing hard time in prison while the loving and concerned family looks on in astonishment at their anability to affect assistance for their troubled loved one. It happens.
    The idea of a profoundly mentally ill person missing out on proper treatment because their inalienable legal rights stood in the way is very saddening to me. I’m not saying “let’s take the mentally ill’s legal rights away”. I will repeat. “There is no perfect fix for this issue”.
    I applaud your willingness to discuss your personal connection to this topic. We all learn from your experience and direct knowledge .All the best to you in the future.

  16. @Admin
    What would it take for my avatar to be sporting a more well-hung look for the New Year and maybe some actual muscle tone for those bird-like legs?
    Please advise.

  17. Author

    Michael there’s a gravatar thingy you can do with wordpress that would give you the same avatar on any wp sites. I don’t have a link, but there’s a trick out there somewhere. I did mine nearly five years ago 🙂

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