History of Suicide Rates in Tucson, AZ
Suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death within the country, and yet many people of all ages continue to take their own lives. For some, suicide occurs because they are grappling with mental health concerns that are too overwhelming for them to properly handle. For others, suicide can occur when a rash decision is made after something traumatic happens within their lives. There are dozens of things that may lead someone to resort to suicide, and in regards to children, many of these causes are different than those faced by the adult population.
In Arizona, new statistics released showed that the number of preventable child deaths increased in 2015. Some of the most common preventable child deaths that led to this increase came from child abuse and neglect. There was an increase in maltreatment deaths between 2014 and 2015, with 75 maltreatment deaths occurring in 2014 and 87 in 2015. It is reported that 80% of those children who passed were under the age of five.
Furthermore, since 2009, the greater Tucson area has seen an 81% increase in child suicides. The most common causes identified as leading to these suicides tie back to drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, bullying, and having access to guns.
Factors that Play A Major Role in Child Suicide
Now, drug and alcohol abuse can play a major role in child suicide for obvious reasons – the child may be abusing mind-altering substances that lead to him or her struggling with desires to take his or her own life. However, children who have parents who are abusing dangerous substances can become more likely to take their own lives because of the emotional and psychological damage that is being done to them as a result of the neglect they are experiencing.
Additionally, parents who might not be abusing substances but allow their handguns to be available to their children are more likely to have a child who commits suicide or accidentally shoots him or herself when playing with them.
What's Being Done in Arizona?
In an effort to help combat the increase in childhood suicides and preventable deaths, The Arizona Child Fatality Review Program was developed to help review deaths each year and, in turn, establish prevention plans within the community, as well as provide education and alterations to public policy.
It is important to remember that childhood suicide can happen at any time and to young people of any age. Many children struggle with depression, which is one of the most common mental health disorders known to affect individuals today. Additionally, living with a parent who abuses substances can cause the onset of symptoms of depression, along with other issues like low self-esteem that can contribute to exploring suicide as an option.
By providing education and making the appropriate treatment available to those in need, suicides can be prevented, and children (along with their families) can obtain the comprehensive care that they need to prevent these tragedies from becoming a reality.
If you or someone you love is grappling with suicidal ideations, suicidal tendencies, or other symptoms of depression, please reach out to Sonora Behavioral Health right now.