Youth At Risk
This morning, just hours from now, I’ll be speaking to an audience far younger than my usual. I want to tell them about the creative energy they can pour into writing. I want them to know how important it is to have a sense of connectedness with these wise old mountains, their neighbors, this beleaguered planet. I want them to rekindle curiosity and see with amazement how rich and blessed we are–not in the possessions we purchase but in the things that money can’t buy (although I will try to avoid that cliche.)
In this gathering of 100, 17 will have considered suicide. Read the rest of the stats. Many will already be clinically depressed. Read how very serious a co-morbid condition that truly is.
I will hope that one of those in the 17 percent will find their inner writer and thereby find a world worth joining, celebrating and sharing in words. ___________________________
From MedicalNewsToday: After falling over 28% during the period 1990 – 2003, suicide rates in America for males and females aged 10-24 climbed 8% – this is the largest single one-year rise in 15 years, says a CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)’.
In 1990 the suicide rate for 10-24 year-olds was 9.48 per 100,000 people; in 2003 it fell to 6.78 per 100,000 people; in 2004 it rose to 7.32 per 100,000 people.
A previous CDC survey found that among young people in public/private schools in the USA, grades 9-12:
— 17% said they had seriously considered suicide.
— 13% said they had created a plan to commit suicide.
— 8% said they had tried to take their own life.
Depression is not only emotionally debilitating – a new study has found it’s more physically damaging than many chronic diseases.
Researchers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have studied data from 250,000 people in 60 countries.
One finding from the study is that people who suffer depression on top of a disease such as angina, asthma, arthritis or diabetes fare worse than if they only had the physical condition.
Experts say better treatment for depression would greatly improve people’s overall health.
But Professor Andrews says in Australia less than 30 per cent of depression patients receive good treatment, with anti-depressants and cognitive behaviour therapy.
This is compared to 80 per cent of arthritis patients and 90 per cent of asthma patients who receive good standards of care, he says.