A. Attention Material: It has been verified on April 19th, 2013 by the Center for Disease Control that for youths between the ages of 10-24, suicide is the third leading cause for death in the United States. (Center for Disease Control: Teen Suicide Statistics, Chart number 1) B. Tie to the audience: Teenagers taking their own life has always been an idea hard to fathom from many people, but I’m sure you guys would like to see teenage suicide from a whole different perspective to better understand what takes the victims of teen suicide to such a point of desperation. C. Credibility material: Death has always been one of my biggest fears, and being someone who is so afraid of dying and loosing people I could never see why someone would feel the need to take their own lives.
This was a topic my brain just never really registered but I was highly aware that teen suicide was a growing epidemic. So I decided that I needed to understand why two things such as death and teenagers go hand in hand. D. Preview: In order to share what I have learned about why about 4,600 youths between the ages of 10-24 commit suicide every year I will explain to you three of the main causes for teen suicide. They include Stress, Bullying, and also Depression. (Center for Disease Control: Teen Suicide Statistics, Chart number 2) [Transition: Let’s start by discussing on of the most common problems with all high school and college students, stress.]
A. Victims of teen suicide result to suicide as the only way to escape the stressful lives that they must deal with on a regular basis (Teens, stress, and suicide: A day in the life, pg.1). 1. A common day for many high school students would be to wake up at 7 am in the morning have breakfast, head out to school where they deal with the stress of turning in homework and projects and taking quizzes and tests and to top it all off they must deal with the stress of trying to fit in and be a regular high school student, then if not busy with an after school job students are most likely busy with either an after school club or sports practices, then after having a packed day and getting home at maybe 6-7 pm and rushing to shower and eat they must deal with hours of homework. With a day like this, most high school student don’t get to bed until about 1 in the morning which leaves them with only 6 hours of sleep.
In Palo Alto High School, located in Palo Alto California there have been 7 teen suicides from May of 2009 to September 2011. (Teens, stress, and suicide: A day in the life, pg.1). 3. Students have no way out of the stressful lives they live. a. When there are incidents of suicides in high schools, the students are expected to return to school and perform like the normally would with maybe a maximum of a day to cope and possibly some form of counseling. b. But most students don’t even use these resources because they are afraid if they take any form of a break they will slack off with their school work and their chances of a bright future are gone. 4. Some kids do commit suicide, but the ones who don’t can still take part in other destructive, self-harming activities such as cutting, drug and alcohol use, and many other self-harming activities.
[Transition: Now after understanding how suicide and stress are related, I can explain to you how suicide and bullying are related.] B. There is a very strong link between bullying and suicides. In recent years, a series of bullying-related suicides in the US and across the globe have drawn attention to the connection between bullying and suicide. (Bullying and Suicide, pg.1) 1. Bullying is another growing epidemic with teens, the severity of it has still not been proven because some people are still looking at it like it’s just “a part of being a kid”. 2. Here are some statistics on bullying
a. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University b. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying c. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying
3. Some different kinds of bullying include physical bullying, emotional bullying, cyber bullying, sexting, or circulation suggestive or photos of a person without their permission. 4. After going through bullying people reach a state of desperation where they feel as if it will never get better, they sometimes feel ashamed of the situation they are in and they don’t tell anyone. This then leads to them not being able to get the help they need, and they are forced to deal with the bullying every day because the adults in the victims life are not aware of what is going on with them.
[Transition: After being educated on two major causes of suicide among teenagers, you’re going to learn about depression and how it links with teen suicide. ] C. Teenagers can face depression due to the many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that occur during adolescent part of life. (Teen Depression, pg.1) 1. Depression is usually due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. 2. The two main types of teen depression are
a. Major depression: This type of teen depression is of short duration, although it is quite severe. It is possible to have a session of severe depression, feel fine for a few months (or even years), and then have another session. For teens, though, even one session of severe depression can feel as though it will never end and prompt a suicide attempt. b. Dysthymia: Dysthymia lasts much longer than major depression, and the feelings are not as severe. Some teens have this low level depression plague them for years without having it diagnosed. This type of depression can also lead to teen suicide if the teenager becomes discouraged with never feeling happy. c. Another type of teen depression has to do with life changes. It is called adjustment disorder with depressed mood, and it can be the result of the death of a loved one, divorce, moving to a different town, or even changing schools. This, too, can lead to teen suicide if the teenager feels hopeless, and that the feeling will never end.
[Transition to conclusion: Now that I have explained more about the causes of teenage suicide, I hope it had raised awareness.] III. Conclusion
A. Final Review: Today I went over in detail the three main causes why suicide among teenagers between ages 10-24 is such a growing epidemic. 1. I discussed why stress especially among high school and college students is such a main reason why teenagers think about suicide. 2. I also discussed bullying and how it affects the everyday life of adolescents and can possibly leave them feeling hopeless enough to take their own lives. 3. Lastly I discussed one of the most well know causes of suicide not only among teenagers but also adults which is depression. B. Tie back to the audience: Today suicide among teenagers is growing day by day and with the causes being things such as stress, bullying and depression suicide can affect almost anyone. It can be our sibling or your friend that is contemplating suicide and that is why awareness needs to be raised.
C. Concluding remarks: And remember anyone who is even thinking of suicide as a way out, should seek medical attention immediately and if you know anyone in this situation don’t make them feel as if they are wrong just help them get the medical attention they need.
Teen Suicide Statistics
Teens, stress, and suicide: A day in the life
http://www.mindful.org/mindful-voices/on-teen-life/teens-stress-and-suicide-a-day-in-the-life Bullying and Suicide
http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html Teen Depression