RUA: Health Promotion Suicide Prevention
Chamberlain University School of Nursing
NR222 Health and Wellness
Professor Lisa Johnson
August 7, 2022
RUA: Health Promotion Suicide Prevention
How would you feel if you found out your child or a child connected to you is thinking about committing suicide or has committed suicide? According to Healthy People 2030, the rate of suicide attempts in adolescents is getting worse. As of 2019, there have been “8.9 suicide attempts per 100th population” (Reduce suicide attempts by adolescents – MHMD‑02 2020 Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion). It is difficult to imagine that a child could be suffering with so much pain that it would lead them to take their life away. It is important that people start to become aware of the risk factors of suicide, learn how to identify suicidal behavior, and find out how to receive help before it is too late. The purpose of the paper is to bring awareness to a high-priority health issue in the United States and present health promotion strategies to help reduce the rates of suicide in adolescents.
Relate topic to Target to population
According to Udoetuk, et al (2019) In the United States suicide has become the second leading cause of death for young adolescents aged 10-14 years. “younger adolescents, the number of suicide incidents for those age 10 to 14 years is 517, compared to 6,252 among adolescents and young adults age 15 to 24 years.” (Udoetuk, et al 2019, para.1). Adolescent suicide can be exceedingly difficult to pinpoint a cause. There are so many varied factors that can play into one committing suicide. Many of us think that psychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety are the main factors but, “there is evidence that suicidality during adolescence is not of the same nature as a mental illness in adults, but instead more closely linked to neurological, hormonal, and social changes associated with puberty” (Udoetuk, et al 2019, para.16). According to Udoetuk, et al (2019) gender may play a role as well, adolescent boys have a rate that is four times higher than young girls. Being a part of an ethnic/ minority group, identifying as LGBTQ, social interactions at school, if they are being bullied or how their peers treat them can be a contributor to suicidal behaviors. The dynamic at home is a crucial factor too, whether it is healthy or unhealthy, are all things to think about.
The objective of this project and Healthy people is to reduce the rate of suicide attempts by adolescents. Suicide is a silent killer, and it is a difficult subject to discuss when someone is suffering internally it can be hard for others to see, or sometimes, we can see the symptoms, but may not know the correct way to help the person. Health promotion is about helping people live an overall healthy life. Learning about prevention, screenings to assess levels of stress or emotional health, and discovering treatment plans to get help to strengthen emotions and mental health are strategies that can help in health promotion.
Summary Of Articles
“Suicide in Adolescents” by Sade Udoetuk,et al is an article that educates readers about suicide in adolescents. The article explains the demographic of those who continue to be affected by the health issue. The authors present findings and statistics on the rates of suicide in adolescents and focus on the risk factors and warning signs. Warning signs listed were isolation from family and friends, high amount of substance use, difficulty in sleep, feeling trapped, hopelessness, withdrawal, mood swings, anger, risky activities, etc. The article also goes into detail about prevention tools that communities have started to use like training programs and bringing awareness to schools. Treatment options were discussed, one form is medication which is usually a anti-depressant a form of medicine used to treat depressive symptoms, the article states that the problem with antidepressants is that sometimes the side effects can cause an increase in suicidal thoughts. Another form of treatment discussed was therapeutic intervention and studies have shown that it has helped to reduce suicide.
The second article “Changes in Suicide Rates – United States, 2018-2019″ by Stone, Debora , et al . Presents statistics about the changes in suicide rates in the United States. Overall suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. “In just over 2 decades (1999–2019), approximately 800,000 deaths were attributed to suicide, with a 33% increase in the suicide rate over the period” (Stone, et al 2021, pg1). The authors discovered in 2018-2019 there was a decline of 2.1 % for the very first time in the U.S. The authors presented studies and research to try to understand how the decline varied among demographics, subpopulations, and other characteristics. Through research, they discovered the results were very inconsistent, but encourging it was discovered that suicide is preventable and that the risk factors go beyond just mental health and lack of access to treatment. The authors believe that suicide prevention is urgently needed in the United States and strategies should be implemented to focus on the substantial number of factors that contribute to committing suicide.
The Third article “Prevention of Depressive Symptoms and Promotion of Well-being in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Smile Program by Sánchez-Hernández, et al, discuss the development of a program called Smile whose purpose is to promote the well-being of adolescents and help prevent depression. Smile has been proven to be effective. In the Study, authors learned that after 4 months some of the youth had a higher psychological well-being. “The Smile Program integrates personal development, and the promotion of psychological well-being with a clinical psychology approach aimed at relieving discomfort and preventing depression” (Sánchez-Hernández, et al, 2019 pg 228).
Health promotion Discussion
One of the best ways to effectively make a difference in suicide prevention would be by starting with parent education. Parents should start being mindful of their children’s mental and emotional health. Parents should learn the signs and symptoms from their health care providers. Families should start being open to communication and have moments where they check in with their young one, so that they can be able to intervene before symptoms escalate. Its important that parents create a relationship for their children to be able to be comfortable to come to them if problems arise. Family support is crucial in helping someone get through a challenging time.
Bringing awareness to suicide in adolescents is another wonderful way to make a difference. Spreading Awareness helps to educate and show those who are struggling they are not alone. One of the beneficial things about the United States is that we live in a tech savvy culture. Social media is booming. Many people are using social media platforms to become influencers, and it Is a wonderful way to spread messages to the public.
Another approach is creating accessible resources on school campuses, hospitals, after-school programs, children’s centers, parenting classes etc. For parents and adolescents to be aware and educated about suicide in adolescents.
With strong awareness, accessible resources, and great sources of support The United States can reduce suicide attempts in adolescents. Adolescents should not have to result to Suicide. We need to help our children develop strong bodies, minds, and souls. The goal is to live a healthy life. Suicide is a Health problem that needs more attention if we can educate our community, we will be able to save so many lives. Suicide can be stopped.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). Reduce suicide attempts by adolescents – MHMD‑02. Reduce suicide attempts by adolescents – MHMD‑02 – Healthy People 2030. Retrieved August 5, 2022, from https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/mental-health-and-mental-disorders/reduce-suicide-attempts-adolescents-mhmd-02
Sánchez-Hernández, Méndez, F. X., Ato, M., & Garber, J. (2019). Prevention of Depressive Symptoms and Promotion of Well-being in Adolescents: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Smile Program. Anales de Psicología (Murcia, Spain), 35(2), 300–313. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.35.2.342591
Stone, Jones, C. M., & Mack, K. A. (2021). Changes in Suicide Rates – United States, 2018-2019. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 70(8), 261–268. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7008a1
Udoetuk, Idicula, S., Jabbar, Q., & Shah, A. A. (2019). Suicide in Adolescents. Psychiatric Annals, 49(6), 269–272. https://doi.org/10.3928/00485713-20190509-01