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Teen Suicide Prevention Website Essay

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Updated: Jul 3rd, 2020

Background and Description

The main objective of the official website of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide (SPTS) is to substantially minimize the number of teen suicides and attempted suicides being witnessed in the United States and globally by not only enhancing public awareness through the creation and promotion of educational training programs, but also providing accurate information on suicide (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, 2011).

The website seems to target individuals in their early adolescence (teens) and late adolescence (college students), as these groups of the population face a lot of challenges and anxieties related to their developmental phases. The website offers several benefits to the target audience, including providing educational training programs on how to cope with problems or thoughts that may lead to suicide, availing information on suicide, linking adolescents to a 24/7 suicide prevention hotline where they can share their thoughts and worries with professionals, as well as presenting mental health resources for college students.

Design

In usability, it can be argued that the website is easy to use and the numerous links provided in the various sections of the website are easy to load. In navigation, the designers have ensured that users do not experience difficulties when searching for information by placing all the important links at the top. Links to important resource content are placed at the left to ensure ease of access and navigation; however the website does not have a search area and it takes a substantial amount of time for a user to come back to the home page.

The website performs poorly in interactivity as it fails to not only offer visual stimulation and attractive graphical interfaces, but also to provide forums and avenues for questions to be answered by support personnel. Although the website has a Facebook link where people can share experiences, it appears not to have been updated ever since it was created in 2011. In general design, the website seems professional but boring if consideration is made to the numerous technological tools which could have been employed to develop a website that appeals to the youth.

Content

The website offers insightful information and resources on how adolescents can enlist the services of professionals to address their problems and worries instead of keeping quite or confiding in friends. In the teen link, for example, the website provides important information on the warning signs of suicide, how to deal with the death of a friend, where to seek instant help when faced with problems, mental health resources for college students, as well as the top five mental health problems facing college students in contemporary times. Such information is of immense importance in assisting adolescents to deal with all underlying issues and concerns that, if not addressed, may catapult them to commit suicide or engage in suicidal ideation.

Available literature demonstrates that some of the causes of suicide or suicidal ideation among young persons (e.g., public embarrassment, harassment, rape, being jilted in love, death of a loved one, financial crisis) could be avoided not only by sharing their problems and concerns with professionals, but also by providing accurate and understandable information on how to deal with these issues (Chatterjee & Basu, 2010; Singh & Rani, 2014). This assertion reveals the importance of the website in minimizing the number of teen suicides and attempted suicides not only in the United States but also globally.

There are clear similarities between the information contained in the website and what is found in the documented literature. For example, the website organizes the warning symptoms of suicide around feelings (e.g., hopelessness, fear of losing control, helplessness), actions (e.g., drug or alcohol abuse, aggression) changes (e.g., withdrawal and lack of concentration in school), threats (e.g., overdosing and wrist-cutting), and situations (e.g., recent loss through death and getting into trouble in school) (Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, 2011). These symptoms are consistent with what is found in the literature as the major causes of suicide, suicide attempt or suicidal ideation (Chatterjee & Basu, 2010; Singh & Rani, 2014).

Additionally, the website cites five top-most mental health problems affecting college students as depression, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders and addiction. On their part, Dilli, Dallar, and Cakir (2010) argue that depression, anxiety and drug addiction are the foremost mental health problems that, if not well addressed, may lead to suicide or suicidal ideation.

The person who tried this website said that it is insightful and necessary for teens, not mentioning that it can be of immense importance in dealing with the high rate of suicide been witnessed today due to factors such as internet bullying. The respondent further said that he actually likes the website as it provides parents and educators important information on how to help teens who may be having suicidal thoughts or who may be going through problems. The respondent agreed that the website is indeed helpful because it could be used by people to direct suicidal individuals on how to overcome their challenges. Lastly, the respondent agreed that the website helped him at a personal level because he can always rely on the contents of the website to deal with challenges and concerns that may project a suicidal orientation.

Opinion

The three positive thoughts about this website, according to my opinion, include (1) its capacity and orientation to provide insightful information on teen suicide and how to address various factors that may elevate suicidal feelings, (2) its capability to provide a hotline service which is used by teens to seek for professional assistance, and (3) its predisposition to include information on how parents can assist their children to avoid suicidal thoughts and ideation.

The three negative thoughts include (1) its lack of appeal for the target population, as adolescents are known to be attracted to websites with attractive graphical interfaces, (2) the incapacity to continually update the content and recourses, as well as (3) its incapability to provide live support in spite of the fact that it is dealing with an issue of immense importance to the American society.

Conclusion/Feedback

Overall, it can be concluded that the website provides important information on how adolescents can deal with the various underlying issues which are thought to propagate suicide, suicide attempt, as well as suicidal ideation. Following this, it can be suggested that the website is indeed instrumental in substantially minimizing the number of teen suicides and attempted suicides being witnessed locally and globally by not only enhancing public awareness through the creation and promotion of educational training programs, but also providing accurate information on suicide. However, the designers of the website need to make it more appealing to the target audience (adolescents), not mentioning that they should also continually update content and provide live support services to users.

References

Chatterjee, I., & Basu, J. (2010). Perceived causes of suicide, reasons for living and suicidal ideation among students. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 36(2), 311-316. Web.

Dilli, D., Dallar, Y., & Cakir, I. (2010). Psychological characteristics of adolescent suicide attempters presenting to a pediatric emergency service. Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences, 40(3), 377-390. Web.

Singh, U., & Rani, K. (2014). SIS-II correlates of suicide ideation among adolescents. SIS Journal of Projective Psychology & Mental Health, 21(1), 49-57. Web.

. (2011). Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, July 3). Teen Suicide Prevention Website. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teen-suicide-prevention-website/

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"Teen Suicide Prevention Website." IvyPanda, 3 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/teen-suicide-prevention-website/.

1. IvyPanda. "Teen Suicide Prevention Website." July 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teen-suicide-prevention-website/.


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IvyPanda. "Teen Suicide Prevention Website." July 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teen-suicide-prevention-website/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Teen Suicide Prevention Website." July 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/teen-suicide-prevention-website/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Teen Suicide Prevention Website'. 3 July.

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