Suicide an epidemic among Kansas teens

Mya Studyvin

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An unstable or vulnerable mindset can lead to feelings of worthlessness or being too weak to carry life’s burdens.

For some, suicide is perceived as the only option.

But suicide is a permanent decision that can have negative, lasting effects on those around you.

“(I lost someone to suicide, and I felt) pretty heartbroken because you don’t know if you could have helped them or you couldn’t have helped them, so it kind of just goes through your head,” freshman Kaelea Hart said.

There are a range of reasons why people commit suicide, all too subjective to combat on a large scale.

The one similarity: they feel they have no other way out.

“It’s like an epidemic, and it’s like people aren’t really getting the help they need,” sophomore Addison Pagels said.

According to the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center, an estimated 501 people aged 15-24 commit suicide yearly in Kansas.

“In my professional opinion, suicide is not an option because if you have breath in your body, you can change it. It can always get better, and maybe you’re doing bad at the time, but as long as you have breath that you can take, you can make it better,” an anonymous health professional said.

There are an average of 129 suicides a day in the United States.

“It made me realize that even people who look very happy, that have a lot, can just change completely… to the point that they think that they aren’t doing a lot (of self-destructive things), even though they are,” sophomore Nayla Jackson said.

Suicide prevention tactics are vital. Hotlines can help as a deterrent.

Derby High School placed suicide hotline number stickers on the back of student IDs in August.

“I thought (the ID stickers) were a little bit weird at first, but I know some people needed it, so it’s kind of important,” sophomore Mike Siler-Evans said.

Someone who is suicidal will feel like a burden when asking for help or worried about being ignored or judged.

“Some kids I have just come into my office because they need a break… they just come in here, sit in my office and don’t even talk to me, but I know that’s all they need. If there is something I can help them with or give them advice with, I do, but it depends on the individual,” counselor Joaquin Zapata said.