The urge to end it

It’s time to open up about seriousness of suicide


Colton Johnson

Photo illustration

Story by Tiger Times Staff

According to the Center for Disease Control, someone in the United States commits suicide every 15 minutes, adding up to a staggering 35,040 victims annually. For every completed act, there is an estimated 100-200 attempts. Simultaneously, this topic is the second leading cause of death for teens.

Yet this idea of complete hopelessness is steadily avoided in today’s conversations. Instead, it is pushed down into the wells of the human conscience and teens are left to decide for themselves how to handle even the most basic daily obstacles.

Through this intentional isolation the worst actions occur, and when the aftermath comes to the surface, all that remains is one simple word. Why?

There never seems to be an answer to the question everyone asks the most. In a whirlwind of emotions, the living are unable to assign blame or feel closure. There is no justice when suicide is the culprit, and that remains the most unnerving aspect. So as a society, we attempt to push it under the rug. Our eyes divert to any place other than the face who brought up the subject, and our mind tries its best to ignore it.

It is easy to understand why we as teens and other adults refrain from confronting this horrifying reality. Some would like to hide behind the idea of “suicide contagion” or claim that teens aren’t old enough to have these conversations.

However, pretending something isn’t real doesn’t solve the problem, nor is it a proactive approach. All that does is give the resulting fear more power, and ultimately extends the range of threatening thoughts and actions.

Whether or not the instructors hold assemblies for prevention, or blare the loss of our students through the intercoms, students are still going to whisper. The ideas, the implications and the influences all remain. That’s why the majority of people feel so cheated.

Our school boasts of interconnectedness and a personal level of trust every Friday game night, but when Monday rolls around, it’s back to silence. Complete and total unsupportive silence.

Last October, the school held an after-school suicide prevention workshop, which is fantastic, except for the fact that not many people were available to attend. Not to mention, there are few individuals who are willing to clear their schedules, so that desperately needed attention can be directed toward more critical matters.

Our school holds drills for every unlikely situation possible, like fires, shootings or extreme weather. But massacres and tornadoes don’t occur every 15 minutes, so why do we hesitate to acknowledge this truth? The school should hold assemblies to alert students of this issue during school hours. Although time could be taken away from class, the question of life is an increasingly more demanding issue than polynomials and balancing chemical equations.

There should be a memorial for the lost students. People who have never felt a tragedy this resonating and shocking need to be aware and cautious that these things do happen. They are real, and without knowledge of these painful occurrences, they have the ability to progress faster. Acknowledging this affliction not only reassures students that the faculty are attentive, but that they also care.

The fact that most individuals feel ashamed of their emotions and affiliations is baffling. Don’t be reluctant in thinking that help or recovery is too far out of reach. There are people who will wholeheartedly listen; they will connect and relate in ways that originally seemed impossible.

Every moment spent on this earth is precious and it means something. Don’t give up hope because of one bad day, or multiple bad days. Keep the faith, so that in the future, you can look back and honestly smile.