Generations Y and Z
Though growing prosperity has tamed Russia’s high rate of adult suicides, the rate of teenage suicides remains three times the world average. Experts blame alcoholism, family dysfunction and other fallout from the Soviet Union’s collapse, as well as the absence of social support networks to help young people.
They also agree with Mr Medvedev that publicity surrounding the suicides could encourage copycat acts.
Facebook Online Mourning
When I worked as the Public Information Officer for an ambulance service, I was surprised by the number of suicides medics responded to on a regular basis. I had no idea the problem was so widespread. I didn’t know people actually laid down on train tracks, jumped off buildings, or drowned themselves, but it happens. I really don’t think much good can come from heightened awareness about these specific events. We all have enough grief to bear with the people we know in real life, right?
I dreaded reading over the computer-aided dispatch that provided me with information for media queries things like, “GUNSHOT WOUND. SELF INFLICTED.” I didn’t even know these people and it bothered me. I can’t imagine having to see their pictures with family and friends — their lives as they once were in happier times — or hear their mourners on Facebook. But, my 14-year-old has already been exposed to the suicides of three youth she never met, and the subsequent onslaught of virtual mourning played out on the Facebook pages of friends and acquaintances.
According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 73 percent of teenagers between 12 and 17 years of age have profiles on social networking sites. This number will only increase bringing it with it a greater awareness of specific youth suicides among individual communities nationwide. Whether there will be a documented correlation between Facebook mourning and copycat suicides remains to be seen.
Jen, I have been thinking a lot about teen suicides induced by bullying events and about the recent suicide of that former NFL player who did so much to benefit San Diego! I am very pleased to know about this new suicide prevention support tool available on Facebook!
That is terrible to hear — and someone young. Just awful. The proximity of news does make it worse, I think.
Thanks, Rob. Is that an actual award – Red Cord of Distinguished Service??
I really wish that the focus and viral nature of information could be on things like the Red Cord of Distinguished Service award. If there is a parent out there reading this. Ask yourself where is your focus as a parent and where is your kids focus? Finding out what is really important and maybe a few verses from Proverbs couldn’t hurt. Rob
Andi Perullo says
This is so disturbing. Recently a young woman in our community killed herself with a shotgun (can’t stop thinking about it). It’s awful. 🙁
Thanks, Israel. I think we’ll hear a lot more about this in the future from much larger sites than my blog. I wonder what can be done besides just banning your kids from Facebook. Thanks for your comment. jen
israel carrasco says
It’s a new world where instant information can reek havoc. Parents need to speak with children on this topic.