Essay on Teenage Suicide: Analysis of Preventive Measures

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Teenagers are faced with a myriad of problems that range from abusive parents to academic struggles. When they are incapable of dealing with hostile environments and daily hassles, serious problems can arise. One of the problems that can arise is suicide. Teenage suicide is one of the top causes of death, which is astonishing considering that homicides and accidents tend to have high percentage rates (CDC). Suicide not only affects the person who decides to end their life, but it also affects their loved ones and others close to them. It is a tragic action; however, it can be prevented. The implementation of mandatory counseling and social media age restrictions should be proposed in (8-12th graders) schools as a step in teenage suicide prevention.

Life is a precious gift and whether one believes that God put them here or that the big bang theory just dropped them off, everyone is here for a reason and no one should be put in a frame of mind to where they want to end their lives. The mother of 17 year-old Reece Johnson walked into his room and found that her baby boy had hung himself (Haven). Reece Johnson was handsome, funny, and an academically successful young man. He was just months away from his graduation, he did not attend prom and he did not make it to his 18th birthday. Johnson was known for his fashion sense, the ability to make others smile, and pull them out of dark places. During an interview, his parents explained how he had recent problems in school and was worried about one of his upcoming college interviews (Haven). From the outside looking in, one would think that Johnson was doing spectacular, but that was not the case. Maybe if Johnson had someone to talk to he would have been able to walk across the stage and begin college.

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One meaningful step towards preventing suicide in teenagers is to implement mandatory counseling in schools. There are a lot of teenagers that keep their emotions bottled up that can later lead to an explosion. Some teenagers might not have anyone to talk to or may have things that cannot be discussed with others that they can discuss with a professional counselor. Counseling would begin with middle school students and continue until their senior year of high school. It would take place during school, not after, so students can still be engaged in their normal activities after school. The counseling would private and individual, not in a group. This intimacy will allow the student to be much more comfortable and open. Some teenagers feel as though talking to a counselor is lame, embarrassing, that they will be frowned upon and teased, or they simply do not think that it is necessary. This is one of the reasons why it will be mandatory. Counselors identify negative thinking problems and help change those problems into positive outlooks. They discover ones’ strengths, how to use those strengths, and help grow stronger in other areas. Counselors pour out empathy, compassion, and outstanding listening skills. Parents, teachers, and adults are often oblivious to the signs of suicidal teenagers and this is a good example of why counseling is needed. It is a counselor’s job to interpret when one is thinking about suicide and how to help tremendously in that area. For example, Dr.Gillihan is a counselor, and he has helped many people who were thinking about ending their own lives. One of his patients who went by the name of John told Dr.Gillihan how he wished he could go to sleep and never wake up (Gillihan). Dr. Gillihan took what John said very seriously and made a plan with him on how they would work together to monitor and manage his thoughts of suicide (Gillihan). Helping students with suicidal thoughts, personal problems, worries, and stress will have a very positive impact on the world.

Another meaningful step towards preventing suicide in teenagers is to implement a stricter and higher age restriction on social media. The age should be bumped from 13 to 19 and it should be strict in a way that a license is required when confirming the age. For most teens, social media is one of their favorite activities. If they are not doing something productive, then they are on their phones texting and scrolling. While social media can be interesting and enjoyable, it can also be damaging. A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year olds how social media impact their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness (Ehmke). Not only teenagers but adults tend to compare themselves to others on social media, and this results in unhappiness and low self-esteem. If this is severe enough, it can lead to suicidal thoughts, because one may feel like they are not good or worthy enough. Before social media, bullying was something only done face-to-face. However, now someone can be bullied online constantly by numerous people. Sadie Riggs was a 15 year old girl who loved to draw and dreamed of being a firefighter when she grew up. Sadie was already facing challenges in life because her mom was a drug addict who abandoned her when she was little (Chuck). When she started high school her peers began to bully her because she had red hair and braces. Not only was she bullied at school, but it was also at home while on Instagram and Facebook. Along with Sadie’s personal problems, the added bullying was just too much for her. She later hung herself. It can be assumed that Sadie had no one to talk to and it is also quite possible that if she was not allowed to use social media she would still be here today.

In order to make social media restriction and mandatory counseling possible one must go to the big guns. Funding for counseling is done by the American Counseling Association. They are always working to increase funding but a representative will go in front of this board to ensure that it will be enough to cover the counseling needed. The same thing will be done for increasing the age limit of social media. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule places requirements on operators of online services. They are not permitted to gather personal information of anyone under the age of 13 without parental permission. A representative will go in front of the board and ensure that this age will be increased. These actions will take time and dedication but it is worth saving lives.

Implementing change always comes along with some problems and in this case there are a few. The students may feel as if mandatory counseling is extraneous and they could act by having a protest. They also may be angry about the social media age restriction because this generation feels like they cannot live without it. Instagram lives, Snap Chat streaks, and tweeting every day are meaningful to them, however continuous high self-esteem and true happiness is much more meaningful. Some students may be scared to open up causing the counseling sessions to be unsuccessful but it is the counselor’s job to make them feel secure and comfortable. Abusive parents may find the counseling as a threat because they do not want to risk losing their child or facing jail time but bringing their wrongs into the light will result in less children being unhappy in their own homes. Counselors may also feel like the counseling will not make a difference so they may refuse to participate but those who do participate will gain complacent consequences. One of those consequences being that they could save a child from ending their life. The additional counselors and time spent with students will result in more money being needed and it is possible that funding will be rejected. If this does become an issue, money can always be raised with fundraisers. The social media headquarters make profit from the many teenagers that use their creation so they might reject the higher age restriction but once someone helps them become aware of the problems that can change. Despite some issues, the benefits will greatly outweigh the costs in the distant future. Every successful endeavor has obstacles.

The implementation of mandatory counseling and social media age restrictions should be proposed in schools as a step in teenage suicide prevention. Doing so will not only affect students but everyone around them. No parent should be forced to see their child die without the opportunity to get help. Students will be happier, stress free, and will also be more productive since they will no longer have access to social media. The percentage of teenage suicides will wither and the world will have a better and bigger future generation.

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Essay on Teenage Suicide: Analysis of Preventive Measures. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-teenage-suicide-analysis-of-preventive-measures/
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