Suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst people ages ten to twenty-four. The objective of this paper is to examine suicide behaviors, risk factors and methods of prevention. While young women report more suicide attempts and suicide idealizations, male suicides outnumber female suicides four to one. This contradiction can be explained by examining the methods each gender utilizes to attempt/commit suicide, and the access each gender has to professional mental health services.
Males typically perform more lethal forms of suicide in comparison to females. For example, males are more likely to employ firearms when attempting suicide while females are more likely to engage in suicidal acts that permit opportunities for intervention, such as overdosing on medication. Also, women are more likely to contact mental health care providers than men, which allows for early delivery of therapies, and or medications. A case study, conducted by Hsiang-Ching, K., Pearson, J., & Xinhua, L. (2003) examined certain characteristics of at-risk groups and made the following conclusions: accessibility to firearms significantly increased the odds of suicide, and there was a relationship between substance abuse and suicide. These results are true for both genders and are actually two risk factors for suicide.
The question now is what can be done about adolescent suicide. The best results seem to come from a mixture of Psychotherapy and Medicine. These at risk individuals must try to resolve the root causes of their problems in order to beginning transitioning from a state of mind that is overwhelmed by death to one that does not involve ending their lives. Identifying adolescents at-risk is important towards prevention; because how soon the warning signs are recognized determine what type of prevention is necessary. Restricting the accessibility of lethal weapons to suicidal adolescents would also significantly reduce overall suicides.
Adolescents are dying every day at their own hands primarily because they are not receiving the type of care or attention they need. Suicides have decreased within the last decade however, in order to combat adolescent suicide effectively, warning signs must be recognized for both females and males alike, and action must be taken immediately. If preventative actions are delivered promptly and accordingly, to these young people, many lives can and will be saved.