Time to draw attention to teen suicide
- By Dulguun Bayarsaikhan -
- Jan 13,2018
Doctors and psychologists cautioned that the suicide rate is highest among young people and that the suicide rate for people up to the age of 29 is expected to rise each passing year. Suicide is one of the most common causes of death among people between the ages of 15 and 34 and nearly 800,000 people commit suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds, according to WHO. Many more are said to attempt suicide every day. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds worldwide. Suicide is a global phenomenon. In fact, 78 percent of suicides occurred in low and middle-income countries in 2015. Suicide accounted for 1.4 percent of all deaths worldwide, making it the 17th leading cause of death in 2015, the latest WHO data published in 2015 read. In Mongolia, suicide is the sixth leading cause of death, reported R.Enkhtuvshin, a doctor at the National Center for Mental Health of Mongolia and a lecturer at the Mongolian National University of Medical Science. Statistics indicate that 411 people commit suicide on average every year in Mongolia. Police records show that 2,055 people took their own life between 2012 and 2016, out of which 1,729 were male and the remaining 326 female. Mongolia was ranked in 69th place in the Crude Suicide Rate by Country 2017 index with 9.3 suicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Keeping in mind that Mongolia has a relatively small population compared to its vast land, it’s crucial to determine the reason people decide to end their life, work closely with vulnerable groups, and prevent suicidal thoughts and attempts. Otherwise, the rising suicide rate could become a “threat” to the national security. Doctor R.Enkhtuvshin[/caption] Doctor R.Enkhtuvshin noted that mental health experts now consider suicide as a social adversity and that it is directly linked to poverty and the economic state. He shared that the suicide rate escalates by 4.5 percent when the unemployment rate rises by one percent. This suggests that people become more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts when they are financially unstable and have no jobs. Doctor R.Enkhtuvshin went on to explain that besides these causes, there are various reasons that lead people to want to end their own life and one of the most common being depression. “A person starts to have suicidal thoughts when they lose something precious to them. In other words, a people start to show signs of depression when they are losing the essential values to live by and in the end, they decide to commit suicide,” he said and complained that Mongolia doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy to help people with suicidal thoughts deal with their problems. Psychiatric counseling centers are available at district hospitals throughout Mongolia, but the number of experts is nowhere near to being sufficient, said a specialist. Psychologists advised opening a mental health center for youth as the quickest and most effective way to lower the suicide rate, especially because young people are more vulnerable to suicide than other age groups. Last year, the Mongolian National University of Medical Science launched a Psychiatric Counseling Center in consideration that the best suicide countermeasure is assigning a specialist to work with children and adolescents on school grounds. The new center provides counseling for students for free of charge and since its opening, 230 students have received professional assistance, said Doctor R.Enkhtuvshin. He said, “Most students needed help dealing with challenges related to family conflicts, depression, career decision-making, anxiety, and troubles adjusting to their new school environment and social setting, friendship problems, and addictions. Just recently, I saved eight guys who had resolved to commit suicide. In general, troubled teenagers seek help and advice from their friends, but they really need a professional psychologist who will help them find the way out of their problem.” Another solution experts recommend is establishing a call center that provides counseling to people with suicidal tendencies through a phone call. These experts aren’t able to see through their plan due to financial struggles and said that the government only needs to give a little bit of a nudge for them to succeed. Professional counseling isn’t the only option for those troubled by suicidal thoughts. A research team from the Mongolian National University of Medical Science found that spending time with close friends and family, and having an open discussion about their challenges can help a person get rid of their contemplations of ending their life. To prevent individuals from getting suicidal ideation, Doctor R.Enkhtuvshin stressed the need to supervise information published, especially those posted on the internet. “Last year, our university conducted a study on suicide trends and digital content. Looking at its results, numerous posts and information implying that suicide was wrong are spread on websites, but 33 percent of readers responded that this information instigate suicidal thoughts. Hence, I advise specialists to be very prudent when delivering information about suicide and make sure to review its content beforehand,” he said.