Clipped From The Daily Herald
Teen Suicide Rote Doubles During 70s NEW YORK - The teen suicide rate has almost doubled during the seventies, according to the U.S. Public Health Service. • With suicide the third highest killer of young people, after accidents and homicides, the October "Seventeen" delves into the "why's" of the problem, explodes some potentially dangerous myths and offers advice on how to prevent teen suicides. Most suicidal teens suffer, as do older people, from deep and devastating depressions. They are so overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that even the slightest setback - a broken date, an unkept promise — becomes too much to handle. While everyone gets depressed at times, severely depressed people feel that way all the time. Dejection, anger, frustration and a sense of worthlessness grow until they fill the person's entier life. Lonely and isolated in their despair, many begin to see death as the only way out. At the root of the despondency are deep feelings of being unloved and unwanted. Dangerous Myths It's untrue that people who talk about suicide don't do it, that someone who tries and survives won't try again, that ' all people who kill themselves are insane, that most suicides take place late a^t night, or that people who commit suicide usually leave notes. It's also untrue that nothing can stop a person who has decided to commit suicide or that talking about suicide to a troubled person may give the person suicidal ideas. How to Prevent Teen Suicide Deep dejection beyond the everyday moods of life, witl.rlrawal from others, feelings of being '.vithlcss and an air of hopelessness <ire classic signs of a depression that may lead to a suicide attempt. Also, wild, angry behavior, sudden heavy drinking or drug - taking, a sharp drop in grades, extreme boredom and restlessness, or preoccupation preoccupation with thoughts of death. What to do: If you suspect that someone you know may be in danger of committing suicide, don't be afraid to talk to your friend about your suspicions. You can defuse hidden feelings by bringing them into the open. As quickly as possible, tell other people about your concern. Involve adults: parents, a favorite teacher, minister or rabbi. A teen-ager or group of teen-agers should never try to handle a suicide situation alone. Even if you have been sworn to secrecy about suicide plans, break the confidence and reveal the plans. Saving a life is most important. If you find yourself alone with someone who you believe is in immediate immediate danger of committing suicide, stay with the person until you can get help. Your presence and attention may carry the person through the height of the crisis. Urge friends or relatives who feel deeply depressed to get professional help. Suicide prevention centers throughout the country take calls seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Many are listed in the phone book under the word "Suicide" or "Crisis." Or call a community mental health center, the emergency room or psychiatric division of a hospital or a student health service at a college or university. university.