16 March 2021
Depression is prominent in kids at distressing rates and is rising every year.
According to the Discovery Mood and Anxiety Program website, every 100 minutes a teen takes his or her own life and suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people in the United States. These statistics are worrying. If the rates of depression are rising every year, it could lead to depression being the number one cause of death in people under 18 years old. In addition to the deaths caused by depression, it's also causing many young people other mental health problems. This is not something we can just ignore anymore.
According to the National Vital Statistics System of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, suicide accounts for 18% of deaths among teens. It states that “most people who commit suicide feel like it is their only way out of a hopeless situation." However, with proper help and resources, many teens can avoid feeling that suicide is the only way out of a seemingly hopeless situation.
In many cases, teens with depression don't have people around them that notice. Some of the warning signs stated in an article for "World of Psychology" are “sadness or hopelessness, low self-esteem and sluggishness." Experts agree that having a community and/or family support is very helpful for teens who are experiencing depression.
Since many teens suffering from depression don't talk about it, it is important for friends and family to become aware of the warning signs.
Statistics in the United States show that the number of teens diagnosed with depression has been rising for a while. Statistics on childstats.gov indicate that in 2018, 14% of the population aged 12 - 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode and that 41% of them received treatment for depression. Many of these children have also been diagnosed with anxiety or other disorders.
These statistics are alarming because they continue to rise. To tackle this problem in teens today, people across society need more awareness. In addition, young people need to be aware that there are resources they can call for help.
Although there is no dedicated suicide hotline currently available in the Cayman Islands, young people can call the 24/7 Crisis Centre hotline at 943-2422. Another option is the The Counselling Centre, a government department that offers individual counselling free of cost. Call 949-8789 to arrange an appointment.