Suicide rate among young people has increased in the 21st century. Statistics reveal that over five thousand youths commit suicide each year within the USA only. Suicide is revealed as one of the most common cause of death for people as compared to other causes like accidents and homicide.
The question now lies on how the governments together with the society can counter these unnecessary suicidal deaths. However most of the governments rely only on medical approach since they lack incentives for traditional healing practices. In the Canadian communities where cultural practices are maintained the responses towards social roles produce positive results amongst the youths. Most of the negative responses are attributed to social disintegration and marginalization of the young people (White and Jodoin, 2007).
There in need for each community to be accountable for its young people. This can be enhanced through different sustainable programs that respond appropriately to community needs. Spiritual intervention can also be an important way of reducing suicidal effects within the community; it provides a lot of knowledge concerning one’s respect and relationship with others. Also upgrading of residential schools is one of the vital projects that should be focused upon.
These are some of the projects that help the young people to see beyond present troubles that they encounter and maintain focus of getting better in times ahead. It makes provides them with opportunities to participate in recreational activities which form part of mental health and development (White and Jodoin, 2007; Hawton and James, 2005).
There is major concern about the progress of the general health of native youths in Canada. Majority of the research conducted have not yet revealed on the various people’s health needs. This is especially on children based on geographical location, culture and socio-economic status.
Suicides amongst the Canadian youth have been found to be growing at an alarming rate, statistic show that the rate of occurrence amongst the Canadians is higher than that of non-Canadian youths. Suicide has been documented as one of the major cause of death amongst the youth accounting for almost 38% of all youth deaths (Viner and Barker, 2005). Girls or ladies are prone to die easily from suicide as compared to their male counterparts; this puts a very high risk on the survival of this generation.
Higher percentage of all deadly accidents within the youth community is linked to suicide (White and Jodoin, 2007). Youth Suicide rates in Canada is well documented in view of the efforts made to conserve and promote Canadian culture and taking control over key issues of life within the Society. This problem can better be described in various social ways such as psychological and socio-cultural.
Why are suicide rates high amongst the Canadian young citizens as compared to the rest of the youths from other countries of the world? The issue of suicide is of national concern since it has led to the death of young and innocent ones and this presents a threat to the strength of the future generation.
The youth suicide problem amongst Canada’s youth society is the main focus of the research. It is of importance to individuals and groups that are ready to take the initiative of developing and putting into practice suicide prevention programs.
Rationale of the Research
The issue in this research is to identify the major causes of Suicide amongst the Canadian youths and the consequent result to the society. There have been increased incidences of suicide in the recent past with the youths being the most affected.
The research was conducted amongst a number of youths who were allowed to participate in focus groups and educational presentations. This prepared their ability to respond to surveys carried and make accurate responses. The research was conducted based on age and the status (White and Jodoin, 2007).
The research is relevant to Canadian youths in that it helps them focus on the important issues within the society and how to avoid unnecessary socio-cultural conflicts that may lead them to commit suicide. It provides the various avenues that can be used and applied by the government to ensure proper youth lifestyles are restored within respective communities.
The paper also identifies one of the major causes of suicide which is influence brought by drugs and alcohol. This research identifies the ways on which youth’s identity can be improved, enhancement of their self-esteem and behaviors.
There is need to provide interventions that virtually supports the moral ethics within the community amongst the youth. This fosters healing of traumas from past social evils and develops strategies on how to link the youths with values that will enable them live healthy lives. Despite the increase in the number of suicide this issue is preventable through innovative processes and socially sensitive initiatives (White, 2005).
Review of available literature shows that the rate of suicide within the Canadian community has increased in recent times. This rate was very low before the culture interaction between Europeans and Canadians. The rate is currently higher amongst native youths than the immigrants. However not every community within Canada experiences high rate of suicide amongst the youths.
The rate appears to be different based on respective regions and provinces, however the degree of occurrence is assumed to be higher than what is shown through the statistics. The data provided on the rates of suicide excludes the non-registered natives who might be living elsewhere; hence the actual number is under-estimated. There is also the probability that a number of suicidal deaths go un-reported and are often considered normal accidents, hence incorrectly reported (White and Jodoin, 2007).
There was need to include all other issues associated with suicide like thoughts about committing suicide and attempts towards suicide. All these present some psychological and social impacts amongst the Canadian youth community. It is also of importance to analyze the whole issue based on population characteristics. Most of the natives who commit suicide are found to be young and most likely unmarried.
The degree of suicide is determined by the kind of weapon used to commit it i.e. use of guns, drugs, or hanging ropes. It is also noted that a series of suicides from a particular location might be attributed to a suicide committed by one young person of the same peer group (Viner and Barker, 2005).
There are certain factors and characteristics that are associated with those who commit suicide, these factors might be environmental or emotional. This is largely dependent on family background and peer influence, this might be as result of economic ability or breach on cultural values.
These factors show clearly the reasons as to why suicide is so prevalent amongst the young men. Therefore there is need to develop strategies to counter the most vulnerable factors. Most of the young people are brought up in rural communities where they seem to be far away from vital information concerning their social lives. The stressful living conditions need to be changed through community development initiatives that aim at securing better lives for the young generation (White and Jodoin, 2007).
Previous research shows that suicide amongst the youth takes place under the influence of interaction between several factors. Each factor presents potential risk to the general response of Canadian youths. Study of the American culture revealed that more protective initiatives taken to prevent suicide produced positive results.
According to centre for Suicide Prevention report (2007), preventive measures should be given first priority to enable success of other measures used within the hospitals. Early intervention should be done immediately after detecting abnormal behavior on particular groups (White, 2005).
The effect of cultural intervention is for the purposes of preventing some commonly known risk factors within specific communities. This helps in restoring cultural identity to the youths and also makes them accept the challenges they might face from youths of other cultures. The strong sense of belonging and values are important in the process of preventing suicide. Programs on the skills of living amongst the youths are encouraged to help in eliminating life-threatening behaviors.
The environments that are frequently visited by youths should be restructured to offer necessary support to the youths. Several themes are developed when undertaking such a study, these include; the availability of upgraded medical care, the use of culturally driven measures, the need of making youths aware of the importance of culture, value and identity (Viner and Barker, 2005).
Difficult situations lead to teenage suicides, these tough emotional states are also experienced by the adults whose reactions tend to be different from that of young people. Researches have shown that proper emotional support from family members or peer groups can act as a good preventive measure for extreme emotional feelings.
Beside normal pressure there are those specific circumstances that can contribute to youth suicides, these include; parental divorce, sexual abuse, domestic violence and parental neglect. Depression contributes the highest percentage of committed suicide amongst the young people since it causes apathy within them. Easy access to firearms provides them with an easy way to end their lives (Mignone and O’Neil, 2005).
Limitations to the research
There are poor responses during data collection due to the fact that most youths fear sharing their personal experiences. The cross-cultural differences amongst Canadian communities also contribute to poor data collection due to communication barrier. There is heterogeneity within the sample groups that further complicates the process of data interpretation.
There is need for expansive research in this area in order to establish different solutions necessary to overcome suicide amongst the youth. The various studies are yet to come up with appropriate prevention measures that can be used in this field. The values attributed to youthful stages evolve rapidly hence require close attention by the elders within the society. They need necessary resources and space to participate in the building of the society.
Suicides have direct negative effect on the community members and may involve victims who are closely related. The existing healthcare services seem very inadequate to counter the increasing rate of suicide within the communities. The healthcare services should be integrated to cater for expansive social network. Cultural renewal and identity should be revived as a way of encouraging the young people to hold on to the good values.
Hawton, K., & James, A. (2005). Suicide and deliberate self harm in young people. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), (7496):891-894.
Mignone, J., & O’Neil, J. (2005). Social capital and youth suicide risk factors in first nation communities. Canadian Journal of Public Health, (96): S51- S54
Viner, R. & Barker, M. (2005). Young people’s health: The need for action. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 330 (7496): 901-903
White, J. & Jodoin, N. (2007). Aboriginal Youth: A manual of Promising suicide prevention strategies.Canadian Mental health Association Journal, (3): 9-185
White, J. (2005). Preventing Suicide in Youth: Taking action with Imperfect knowledge. BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, Ontario Canada.(found at MHECCU)