Suicide is one of the leading causes of deaths in the US and the third leading cause of death among individuals aged between 15 and 24 years (Wray, Poladko & Allen, 2011). The suicide rates in the US vary from one state to another with some states having suicide rates that are above the national average. Suicide trends among teens can be important in explaining some of the critical issues affecting families because teenagers are highly influenced by social issues in their background. Analysis on the trend of suicide among teens is important in identifying some of the major causes and effective strategies that can be used to prevent it.
The suicide rate among teenagers in Nevada has consistently ranked higher than the national average and mirrors the high rate of suicide in the state for the whole population. The official data in 2012 showed Nevada was ranked the fifth state with an average rate of 19.1 against the national rate of 12.0 per 100,000 people. The state is ranked tenth on the number of suicides among individuals aged between 10 and 19 years (Office of Suicide Prevention, 2012). The high rate of suicide in Nevada is associated with risky behaviors among youths. A survey in 2009 showed that suicide is one of the leading youth risk behavior in Nevada. The results of the survey indicated that about 62,920 teenagers had contemplated suicide and 48,937 of them had developed a plan or attempted to committee suicide. A number of the teenagers were treated in medical facilities for injuries sustained during their suicide attempts (Office of Suicide Prevention, 2012). The trend on suicide among teenagers in Nevada is related to social trends that influence the individuals into risky behavior. For example, statistics show that the rate of suicide in the state increased during the economic crisis in 2008 and 2009 (Wray, Poladko & Allen, 2011).
Risky behaviors among teenagers are contributed by the social and emotional changes that take place in puberty (Wray, Poladko & Allen, 2011). These changes are likely to create a sense of social disconnection as the young individuals try to seek social rewards and recognition from their peers. The social pressure during puberty influences teens not to think rationally and hence the chances of engaging in risky behaviors, such as suicide.
Troubled teenagers and their families can seek help in addressing the risk of suicide in several sources. The UNLV Center for Democratic Culture provides information about important strategies and community programs in addressing the risk of suicide. This organization provides information about mental health programs, local community programs, and socioeconomic issues that are directly related to chances of suicide (Wray, Poladko & Allen, 2011). The information can be important in creating awareness among teenagers and their families on ways to prevent suicide.
The website by the Office of Suicide Prevention in Nevada provides important information about myths and facts surrounding the issue of suicide in Nevada. The myths on suicide act as a barrier for teenagers and families in need of help in addressing issues that contribute to suicidal thoughts. This website is important as it presents facts about suicide as a mental illness and proper channels that can be used in seeking the necessary assistance. For example, the information contained in the website discredits the myth that talking about suicide contributes to suicidal attempts and instead shows that it can be important in identifying those at risk of committing suicide (Office of Suicide Prevention, 2014).
This assignment provides new insight into the relationship between cases of suicide among teens and socioeconomic issues in the society. The teenagers are at risk of being affected by socioeconomic issues because of the changes which take place in puberty.
This assignment provides new insights on some of the barriers to addressing the high prevalence of suicide cases. Several myths and general lack of awareness at the community levels have been contributing to suicide attempts.
- Office of Suicide Prevention. (2012). Suicide in Nevada fact sheet 2012. Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/77th2013/Exhibits/Assembly/HHS/AHHS205E.pdf
- Office of Suicide Prevention. (2014). The myths & facts of youth suicide. Retrieved from http://suicideprevention.nv.gov/Youth/Myths/
- Wray, M., Poladko, T. & Allen, M. (2011). Suicide Trends and Prevention in Nevada. UNLV Center for Democratic Culture. Retrieved from http://cdclv.unlv.edu/healthnv_2012/suicide.pdf