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The Official Student Publication of Page High School

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The Official Student Publication of Page High School

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The Increase in Suicide Rates Within Both High Schools and Colleges

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Loneliness Teenage Girls

Throughout 2023 more than 20% of teens have seriously considered committing suicide within both high schools and colleges. In 2022 the increase in pediatric suicides ranged between 30 and 43 percent, the majority being during school months. One in five North Carolina high school students reported considering attempting suicide in 2021 and since then the rate has increased 20%. In 2020, 67 children ages 0-18 died by suicide in North Carolina and between 2000 and 2018, the suicide rate among youth ages 10 to 24 rose from 6.8 per 100,000 to 10.7 per 100,000. 

But what’s been making these numbers sky-rocket and what are the factors contributing to such tragic endings for these students? 

The stress school brings plays a huge role in the poundage students are having to carry along with the tensions and agitations at home. All the pressure to make good grades, handle friendship drama, and even relationship management, can make for an overwhelmed teenage kid. 



Depression is the most common condition associated with suicide, along with anxiety and substance problems and when unaddressed, the risk increases. There are many other different factors whether they’re health factors, environmental factors or historical factors. 

Other health problems associated with suicide consist of bipolar disorder, Schizonphrenia, conduct disorders, serious physically health problems, and traumatic brain injuries. Environmental factors include access to lethal means(drugs and firearms), prolonged stress, bullying, relationship problems, unemployment, divorce, financial crisis, and exposure to another persons suicide. Lastly, historical factors involve previous suicide attempts, family history of suicide, child abuse, neglect or trauma. Another factor can also include impulsive behavior or tendencies.

As a student, you’re constantly being faced with pressure with assignments, bullying, who likes who, who’s talking about who, fake friends, and then it being added onto everything that you have going on at home. 

High school and college are both prominent time periods in a person’s life. They involve the most growth and a lot of “firsts” happen during this time. However with growth comes mistakes and sometimes, even traumatic experiences. As a teenager you’re equipped to think you’re unstoppable and it’s also when you’re the most naive. You’re still at such a young age that you often don’t know how to deal with all the stress life throws at you. We tend to shy away from the idea of getting any sort of help at all. Being a teenager involves lots of loneliness at times because you haven’t quite gotten to the maturity level to admit when you need help. But this is normal and in fact 77% of teenagers struggle with bad mental health. 

Whether you’re in high school or college, you’re still facing the same stressors from being a student going to school with lots of other students struggling the same way you are. They just also don’t want to admit it. The reality of it all is that we all feel the same way, it’s just a matter of who’s better at hiding it. 


Protective Factors

But what are some of the ways to prevent these struggles from turning into a person taking their own life? 

Having access to mental health care can sometimes be a huge help, however it doesn’t always work for everyone. Community and family support can also play a large role. Feeling like you belong and having people you can confide in prevents that feeling of loneliness and ultimately having a good support system is vital for an engulfed teenage student. Other good protective factors include coping mechanisms and good problem solving. These can include, exercising, being in nature, good relaxation skills, a healthy diet, sleep, etc. It is also important to make sure access to lethal means is limited and even nonexistent. For people who are religious, connecting and seeking help within that religion can create a strong sense of purpose and self-esteem. 


Warning Signs

There are many red flags that can be signs of suicidal thoughts, symptoms or depression, such as, changes in eating and sleeping behaviors, alcohol and drug use, withdrawal from friends and family members, neglect of personal appearance, and lack of response to praise. Other signs can also be irritability, sadness or crying spells,certain social media posts suggesting depression, and talking about plans to end their own life. 

Dr. Francen Schmitt says a common misconception is that self-injurious behavior, such as cutting, burning or picking at skin, is suicidal behavior.”Self-injury is not necessarily always a predecessor to suicide, but it is something you should seek support from a mental health professional for your teen,” says Dr. Francen Schmitt. “It’s a way your teen is signifying that something is wrong and needs attention.”


Ways to support teens

There are plenty of ways to make sure a struggling teen knows that they aren’t alone. For instance, always make sure to emphasize that you are always available to talk and that they can trust you. Another big way is to make sure you’re supporting and not criticizing. Let them know that you understand what they are going through is hard and thank them for trusting you. Never tell them that they have nothing to be sad about or that they’re overreacting. Thats the last thing to do, instead ask them what they need. Lastly, don’t minimize their feelings and don’t belittle their emotions and problems. Northwestern Medicine says to avoid phrases like, “Just be positive” or “You got this” and instead say things like “How can i help”. Make sure they know you are there to support them at their own pace and that all you want to do is see them get better. 


If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or maybe even depression alone, please call 988 Suicide and Crisis lifeline. The link is below. You are not alone.  



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About the Contributor
Addison Farris
Addison Farris, Co-editor
Hi! I'm Addison and i am currently a Junior at Page High School. I have been in journalism since freshman year but didn't officially start writing for the newspaper till Sophomore year. I am the current co-editor and i hope to go into journalism as a career!

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