In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic teen suicides across America have escalated to the highest level ever recorded. Perhaps this is a result of being forced to disconnect from their friends and normal activities. Or maybe the self-inflicted victims were trapped inside of an abusive home with no way out. Whatever the reasoning might be, it’s devastating.
It’s all but impossible to 100% determine the individual causes for pushing a teenager over the edge, and the issue is not restricted to any one geographical location. But in viewing the statistics concerning where the greatest number of teen suicides are taking place at a fairly steady pace, Seattle, Washington, wins the coveted crown. Not just Seattle, but the entirety of King County in which the dangerously liberal city is located.
In 2019, teen suicide accounted for 8.33% of all accounted for suicides within King County. As of November 2020, just one short year later, teens now account for a mindboggling 38.46% of the total.
Suicides among male youth saw a 2020 increase of 100% countywide. If this is not disturbing enough, 2019 saw no suicides among 11, 14, and 15-year-olds. But 2020 has witnessed a 7.69% increase among 11-year-old’s, a 38.46% for 14-year-old’s, and a 15.38% jump among children of age 15.
Former Child Death Review coordinator for King County, Beth Daranciang, said in an interview with The Post Millennial, “Youth suicide is rare in larger cities and much more likely in suburbs, small towns and rural areas where kids can be more isolated. I also noticed that in places where there were youth homicides, there were few youth suicides. Seattle having multiple youth suicides in one year is definitely unusual.”
As fully expected, when Daranciang was asked what she believed to be the largest contributing factor to the deadly uptick, she replied with, “Kids are hit hardest by the isolation.”
Katy Faust, most known for her ruthless campaigns against same-sex marriages, kind of hit it on the head when she tweeted, “That’s my concern w lockdowns. While even some adults are struggling, it’s kids who have an irreplaceable developmental need for face-to-face interactions w peers. What we are asking children to do is turn off aspects of their humanness. That will not come without a cost.”
A recent study released by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry showed how children and adolescents, unlike any other time in history, are now displaying much higher rates of depression and anxiety resulting from the loneliness of isolation caused by the pandemic.
“As school closures continue, indoor play facilities remain closed and at best, young people can meet outdoors in small groups only, chances are that many are lonely (and continue to be so over time),” said Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath, UK, Maria Loades.
In a separate survey conducted by Parents Together, 70 percent of the teens they spoke with reported feeling sad, worried, and increasingly overwhelmed and worried. Of the parents who were also surveyed, 44 percent gave a clear indication of their child, or children, suffering from mental health issues since the onset of the pandemic.
“Children across the country have sent us a clear message six months into the pandemic—the kids are definitely not alright,” said Co-Director of Parents Together, Justin Ruben. “Millions of kids are facing a food security crisis, piled on top of an educational equity crisis, piled on top of a school funding crisis, piled on top of a mental health crisis… an entire generation of kids could suffer lifelong harm.”
In July of this year, Robert Redfield, the Centers for Disease Control Director, said suicides and drug overdoses among high school students have now surpassed the death rate for COVID-19. And this was in July.
Redfield made a strong argument by saying how lockdowns and being kept home from school was having a disproportionally negative impact on young people’s mental health. “…there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools,” he said.
With all of this information coming to light, America is faced with the difficult decision of keeping our teenage population from killing themselves in record numbers or locking them away so they won’t die from a virus.
As citizens of this country, the choice should be left up to us. But it never has been, and with Biden taking over it never will be. Now it’s your turn to sound off. What are your thoughts about all of this?