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Youth Suicide a Serious Issue in Ocean County

While the opioid crisis continues to grab headlines, another public health problem has quietly emerged in New Jersey, and here at home in Ocean County. Suicide has become the third leading cause of death among children and young adults aged 10-24. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), 14 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 died by suicide from 2013 to 2015 in Ocean County. That total jumps to 283 cases for the entire state during the same two year period.

“Sadly, society is putting more and more pressure on our young people today. Peer pressure, bullying, social media, drugs and alcohol are just some of the social challenges young people are trying to navigate,” says Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little.

The AFSP study also revealed that from 2013 to 2015, Ocean County had 1 of the 3 highest rates in the state for suicide attempts and self-inflicted injuries among 10 to 24 year olds.

“It’s become another public health issue with too many sad endings,” says Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator. However, research has shown suicide deaths can be preventable. The key is promoting the work of suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Increased collaboration with state, local and community partners is essential for success.”

The key to success is educating pediatricians, primary health care providers, school personnel and families on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and what action to take when intent is disclosed.

“Help is available. Young people need to be encouraged to speak with a trusted adult or call a suicide prevention hotline if they feel overwhelmed, depressed or are having suicidal thoughts, explains Kimberly Reilly, OCHD Chief of Administrative Services. “Parents that are concerned their child may be suffering from depression or suicidal tendencies need to act quick – do not wait, seek professional help right away.”

As a parent, symptoms may not be easy to detect. Divorce, remarriage, relationship problems and an influential social media environment are just some of the challenges that can create emotional upheaval that many young people aren’t ready to handle.

“Earlier detection means earlier treatment,” Regenye added. “That’s why it is so important for parents, loved ones and educators to keep an eye out for the signs of depression or any other mental health concerns.”

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There are 3 Comments to "Youth Suicide a Serious Issue in Ocean County"

  • So sad says:

    This is an epidemic all over the country. What the article does NOT say is that most experts agree the cause of this is social media. Kids see everyone else’s exciting post and they think, wow, everyone else is having so much fun and I’m just doing nothing. So they get depressed. Again and again and again. After a while the only solution is suicide. The gedolim are right. Social media is bad. Very bad. On many, many levels.

    • Sam says:

      Actually do we really believe there is more pressure on youth today than previously? when everyone had to wear hats and jackets, you could be arrested for disorderly conduct, and there were expectations of you to grow into a mature Adult? Its redicilous. The reason there is more suicide is because there is no meaning today, ppl have a life with basically all amenities and no real purpose, just lust and desire growing ever stronger, till its just not worth it anymore. And yes, social media IS a huge factor, but it has less to do with bullying (initially) and more to do with jealousy. This is not to say that there are unfortunately many children who were R”L driven to this through situations of extreme abuse/neglect/ect. but i’m talking about the wider populace and why its become rampant

  • Josh says:

    Sam that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. The drug epidemic has a lot to do with the suicide rate. And children in secular education have many many pressures put upon them academically not to mention the cost of a college education. Sadly some children can not handle all of this.

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