By: Tilden Huffaker
For hundreds of years, suicide has been taking the lives of people of all ages. Suicide has been thought of as a “quick way out” or a “need for attention.” But I know that suicide is more than that. Suicide has many causes like not having enough “happy” chemicals in the brain, a loss of one’s identity, bullying, inability to make or have friends, or depression. People commit suicide everyday, but you don’t see people talking about suicide very often. In this essay I will tell you the facts about suicide and what reform I think we should take.
Suicide is the second leading cause of deaths from the ages 5 to 24 in 2017 (Aacap). On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes (Dosomething.org). The majority of the people who attempt suicide or commit suicide usually have a severe mental disorder, usually depression. But just because you have depression doesn’t always mean that you are suicidal. I usually think of suicide as a silent killer. Mainly, because it isn’t talked about much, but also because of how many people die each year from it. Almost 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year with millions committing suicide world wide (Dosomething.org).
In an article made by Christy Heitger-Ewing called Why We Should Talk About Depression and Suicide When It’s Not Trending. In it she said, “People with depression are scary good at faking their true feelings. They learn to be deceptive and evasive. They learn to straight-up lie. And I think they do this because society has taught them that mental illness isn’t to be discussed.” The way I think of it is that people only really like the happy stuff, so they completely ignore the fact that people are committing suicide. Not everyone does it, but enough people think suicide is too horrible that people don’t talk about it.
I believe that suicide needs to be talked about. If suicide is talked about then maybe more people will be willing to express their feelings. We need to be open and willing to talk about it, but we also need to help those who have it. I also believe that animals hold the answer to helping those with severe depression. I find that it is easier to talk to animals than it is to talk to humans. I believe that as a reform, hypoallergenic animals should be allowed in schools. I have a dream that there could be a specific room in all schools where animals are allowed. If you feel sad, depressed, or suicidal you go there. You would be able to go there during free periods and during class time if you feel overly stressed and if you ask your teacher to be excused. If you are counted absent from class because you didn’t tell your teacher about going to the room then your counselor will consult you. You shouldn’t skip class for no good reason. It would be a place where everyone would be able to go. It is nearly impossible to implement this idea because of the threat of allergic reactions, skipping class, and the fact that you can’t have pets in class with you unless they are silent and still. I once wanted to have an emotional support dog in class with me, but the Boulder Valley School District only allows service dogs in school and only if they are silent and under your desk. This is a reform I know people need. So it’s time to get to work.
Aacap. “Suicide in Children and Teens.” Suicide in Children and Teens. Aacap, Oct. 2017. Web. 16 Jan. 2018.
Dosomething.org. “11 Facts About Suicide.” Volunteer for Social Change. Dosomething.org, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2018.
Heitger-Ewing, Christy. “Why We Should Talk About Depression and Suicide When It’s Not Trending.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 13 Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2018.
“Mood-Boosting Power of Dogs.” Mood-Boosting Power of Dogs: How Caring for a Dog Helps You Cope with Depression, Anxiety, and Stress. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2018.