by Michelle V., Westgate Collegiate, Thunder Bay, ON

At some point in most people’s lives, they will experience a thought. A thought that could change the lives of people around them forever and ultimately end theirs.

Suicide is a deliberate act of self injury with the intention that the injury will result in death. Suicide is a cry for help and support that shouldn’t be taken lightly. People who are suicidal are fully engrossed with death - but just want to be rescued. People who have attempted to end their life and were not successful in gaining the love and support they needed, may repeatedly try to kill themselves in hope of getting the attention the next go around.

Suicide is not usually triggered without warning. A peer or family member can pick up clues such as ongoing depression, a change in personnel appearance, change in behaviour, school performance and then a sudden “up”in spirits. Death notes, threats and preparing for death are also clues of suicide. Eighty percent of suicides have been previously warned about.

Although people stereotype loners, goths and natives to “the type of people who are suicidal”, there is no one type. People of all origins, lines of work, socio-economic classes and age groups have killed themselves and will continue to do so. This means your friend, no matter how popular, supportive, and open with their feelings you think they are, could be thinking about ending their life.

After someone has attempted suicide, they do not always continue to be suicidal. A psychiatrist, therapy, group sessions and the constant support of loved ones can lead a suicidal individual to live a practical and significant life.

Surprisingly, suicide is the number two killer among teens after motor vehicle accidents in Canada. The amount of suicides is on the rise, and they are under reported so we rarely hear about them in the news.

With the amount of suicides on the rise we should all be aware of our friends actions or drastic changes in their behaviour or effort. We should also encourage each other, be sensitive to each other’s needs and welcome newcomers.

We will all feel uncomfortable at some point in our life, but there’s no reason any person should feel so left out or insignificant that they kill themselves.

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