Children Suicide

by courtney_viv on February 29, 2016 - 2:18pm

     The number of children that kill themselves is small, however it is not zero. The federal government in Canada states that 1.8 in 100,000 children between the ages of 10 to 14 died due to suicide. I was able to find 3 articles posted in different locations in regards to the issue about the increase in child suicide. The first article was published on the Huffington Post talking about Canada’s crisis of child suicide, the second is about how an 11 year old committed suicide due to bullying and the third about how in Hong Kong more children commit suicide than die in accidents.

     The first article was posted on the Huffington Post on February 17th 2016 by Joshua Ostroff. He discusses that an aboriginal territory called Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) has a suicide rate for children under 15 is 50 times the national average. In 2013, there had been seven children who committed suicide and 27 who attempted. When kids were asked which issues affected them the most, things such as bullying, sexual and substance abuse, and simply lack of awareness about mental health supports was brought up. The issue is that most child suicide attempts are unsuccessful but also are actually reported because many assume they are just accidents because children will rarely leave suicide notes or have access to things such as pills. The main issue is that children don’t know that death is permanent.

     In Wallasey, Wirral, Merseyside in England a mother got the worst news of her life. Daily Mail Online, a UK newspaper highlighted the issue that some parents have to deal with. Miss Thompson got the news that her 11 year old son, Thomas, had overdosed on painkillers. When the family was questioned, his younger sister, Alexandra, had said that he had gotten bullied every day. When the school was questioned, they said that Thomas had never reported the issue of bulling. Just two weeks later after Thomas Thompson’s death, another child from the same school also committed suicide. Just one month before, a nine year old girl was suffering bullying and thought the only option was to commit suicide.

    The South China Morning Post published on July 10 2015 an interesting research study. Professor Leung Nai-Kong, a panel member reported that since 2008, 85 children aged 10 to 17 committed suicide. It’s said that 26 of them had given clue before they committed suicide that they were having suicidal thoughts. Many of the students who had committed suicide were worried about their future, their studies or had problems with their family members or in their relationships. 

   All three articles have one issue at hand, and that is that the amount of child suicide is increasing and something should be done about it. A solution to this issue is that parents need to watch children’s behaviors to see if they change, for instance if they suddenly become extremely isolated when they were once bubbly. Parents need to make sure that their children are in a good environment and make them know that there are people out there that could talk to. If the child doesn’t want to talk to the parent, then they should let them know that there are professionals or even talk to their friends about it. Parents or adults in general, need to teach younger children that no matter what having sad feelings is normal but should not lead to them having to take their lives. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/17/canada-child-suicide-mental-health_n_9246806.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-187330/Boy-driven-suicide-bullies.html

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1835675/suicide-biggest-cause-unnatural-death-hong-kong

References:

Ostroff, Joshua. "Child Suicide Is A Crisis In Canada. Here's How We Can Prevent It." The Huffington Post. 17 Feb. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. 

Tozer, James. "Boy 'driven to Suicide by Bullies'" Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. 

Zhao, Shirley. "More Hong Kong Children Commit Suicide than Die in Accidents, Study Reveals." South China Morning Post. 10 July 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. 

Comments

I really liked your article as it touches on the very important issue of suicide, which continues to affect both teenagers and children worldwide along with your focus on children ages 10-14 which people often think of as extremely rare cases of suicide victims. However, adding a gendered lens to your article could enrich your analysis of the material as well as give more solutions than the ones you discussed at the end of your article. This could be done by not consistently referring to the victims as “children” which is a gender neutral term. Suicide has been considered a predominantly male problem and with good reason. You can see here (http://toronto.cmha.ca/mental_health/suicide-statistics/) that the rate at which men commit suicide is four times higher than the suicide rate of women in Canada. This can be attributed to the increasing pressures to conform to the North American idealized views of masculinity than men have to face. Men are socialized from a young age to conform to conventional masculinity, often summarized using the ‘man box’ (http://www.wps.colostate.edu/men-and-masculinities). What is inside the box is socially acceptable and valued for men and what’s outside the box is the policing that occurs when a man doesn’t conform to the traits inside the box. Seeing as anger and violence are taught as ideal masculine traits, it is no wonder that men chose suicide, an inwards expression of violence, as a way to deal with the pain, pressures and anxieties they have been facing in their life. Delving into gender a little more would certainly aid in your reader's understanding of the problem as not only a consequence of bullying and mental health but gender as well.