The issue of bullying in schools has come to the forefront recently as more and more students are committing suicide as a result of being bullied. According to studies conducted by Yale University, those who have been bullied are 2 to 9 times more likely to contemplate suicide than those who have not been victims.
The Centers for Disease Control reports approximately 4,400 young people die every year as a result of suicide, making it the third leading cause of death among minors. In addition, 7 percent of high school students have attempted suicide while 14 percent have considered it. A British study concluded that bullying is the reason that at least half of young people commit suicide and that girls ages 10 to 14 could be at an even higher risk for suicide from bullying.
Young people may consider suicide as their only way out
Although some may believe bullying is a harmless behavior in which all kids engage, it actually has the potential to be quite harmful. Bullying can affect many aspects of a person’s self-worth, causing him to feel like he has nothing to offer. Some young people may believe that suicide is the only way to escape persistent bullying.
This seems to be the case for a 15-year-old who committed suicide last October. The boy left a suicide note that indicated he was taking his own life because of bullying. The boy’s father recorded a video just hours after his son’s death in which he pled with young people to stop bullying each other. He said that some people feel like they don’t have anywhere else to turn but suicide after being humiliated and picked on continuously.
Identifying signs of suicidal intent
According to the 2009 School Crime Supplement, only about a third of children who are bullied tell an adult about it. This is why it is so important for parents to educate themselves on the warning signs that their child is being bullied and may be suicidal. Some of the signs that your child may be considering suicide include the following:
- Injuries that are self-inflicted.
- Sudden changes in behavior or personality.
- Talking about dying or not wanting to live anymore.
- Giving away belongings.
A large portion of people who commit suicide give warning signs, so it is important that parents are in tune with their children in order to recognize them if they occur and step in to prevent suicides from happening.