Start the Conversation: Suicide


Paige Jansen, Contributing Editor, Adel IA

Suicide is a terrifying subject. It´s difficult to think about, and even more difficult to talk about.

Let’s talk about it.

We’re all familiar with the term suicide, the act of someone taking their own life. Some of the best and brightest have died by suicide, such as Robin Williams, Chester Bennington, and Kurt Cobain. People tend to not realize how common suicidal behavior is. According to the World Health Organization, there is one death by suicide every forty seconds.

Every forty seconds. 

The number keeps growing. By 2020, it is predicted that the rate of death will increase to one suicide every twenty seconds across the world. Suicide can happen at all ages. According to America’s health rankings, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teenagers. In 2019 in Iowa, there were fourteen deaths by suicides per one hundred thousand people.  The total number of suicide attempts is far higher. There is one suicide for every twenty-five attempts.

One for every twenty-five. 

The high amount of suicide attempts is pretty alarming.  People who experience suicidal thoughts and actions surround us. Do you know the girl who sits next to you in Algebra? Yeah, she has attempted suicide. Or the one boy who is always smiling in P.E? He thought about taking his own life just last night. The one girl singing loudly in the choir? She was hospitalized for her attempt. One in six high school students nationwide seriously considered suicide in 2016.

One in six. 

This is why this conversation needs to be had. Suicide and suicidal behavior is a serious issue that affects millions of people of all ages, genders, and race. Against common belief, males die by suicide 4x more than females and makeup seventy-nine percent of suicides in America. Yet females attempt suicide three times more times than males, as founded by studies done by the Centers for Disease Control. The highest suicide rates are among American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and whites.

Kids in the LGBT community are three times more likely to contemplate suicide. They are also five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth, according to the Trevor Project. Forty percent of high school students who identify as LGBT have seriously considered suicide.

Forty percent. 

Suicide is a serious problem, with the youth suicide rate increasing fifty-six percent in the last decade as reported by the Wall Street Journal. This needs to stop. Help end the stigma and get the discussion started. Remember, there is always hope for those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts and actions.



If you are struggling, make sure you contact the school’s guidance counselors or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Paige originally published this article in the Black and Redgister.