Every Child Needs a Champion
Did you know that according to the CDC suicide rates for young people ages 10-24 has increased by nearly 60% over the past decade? Or that most child suicides occur in the fall around the start of the year? A December 2019 study conducted by the Congressional Black Caucus showed suicide attempts by African American youth rose 73% and youth under 13 were twice as likely to perish by suicide than white children the same age. The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health showed that 40% of LGBTQ youth in the United States seriously considered suicide in the past year. In Illinois alone, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for all young people ages 10-24.
But there is hope to stop this “silent epidemic”. Suicide prevention training could reduce the suicide rate. Four out of Five individuals considering suicide give some sign of their intentions, either verbally or behaviorally. Rita Pierson said, “Every child needs a champion- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connections and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”
Those adults are parents, neighbors, other family members, teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, school custodians, family doctors, etc.
If every adult in this country who works with young people would educate themselves on the warning signs of suicide, we could reduce the suicide rate by 80%. The Jason Foundation offers free suicide prevention training to educators, other school staff, parents, physicians, clergy, community leaders, and students.