It’s Time to Talk . . . Suicide in Young Adults
I teach Transcultural Nursing. The concluding “final exam” for these nursing students was a group project/presentation. They selected an ethnic group, identified a health issue, and developed a culturally competent educational tool that addressed the issue within the context of cultural beliefs, values & health care practices of that specific group. One group chose Japanese with a focus on suicide in 15-24 year old students. It sparked such a response and concern within me because the presenters & those listening were 20 to 24 years old! With the pressure of school, final exams, financial obligations of student loans and finding a job in today’s market, I thought this more than an opportune time to bring up the subject!
- Overall suicide rate in the United States is 12.2/100,000
- Native American/Alaskan Native the rate is 31/100,000
- There are 100-200 attempts for every completed suicide
- Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds
- Asian-American college student were more likely than White American students to have had suicidal thoughts & attempt suicide (APA 2013)
- Asian-Americans with suicidal thoughts were less likely to seek help (Chu, 2011)
75% of those who die by suicide display warning signs . . .
- Give away prized possessions
- Talk about suicide
- Appear depressed or demonstrate a change in personality
- Withdraw from social interactions
- Note change in sleep patterns
As healthcare practitioners we need to:
- Ask the question: “Have you or are you considering suicide?”
- Note the the non-verbal response:
- According to Dr. Mehrabin ~ 55% of the message is body language; 38% is tone of voice ; 7% are the words
- Take time!
American Physcological Association (2012) ~ www.apa.org
Center for Disease Control & Prevention (2012). Nat’l Center for Injury Prevention & Control. Retrieved June 12, 2013 from www.cde.gov/injury/wisqars/index
*Chu, J.P. etal (2011). Help-seeking tendencies in Asian Americans with suicidal ideation and attempts. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 2, 25-38.