A GoodTherapy.org News Update
The United States experiences a significant number of self-inflicted deaths each year. In 2004, suicide was the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 32,439 deaths. Especially troublesome is the number of young adults who attempt suicide in conjunction with symptoms of depression. In 2004, suicide was the third leading cause of death for children, teens and young adults ages 10 to 24. While treatments vary, with some mental health professionals opting for prescription medications and others relying more upon the strength of intensive psychotherapy or residential treatment, the desire to understand how such thoughts and tendencies are formed remains universal. For with greater understanding of the roots of such ideas and behaviors comes the chance to discover and employ preventive measures to help spare youths from the psychological hardships of suicidal ideation.
The American Association of Suicidology, with members spanning from mental health professionals to leading academics and researchers, was founded precisely for this reason. The association has held its annual meeting on April the 17th, and has proved an enlightening and productive medium for the presentation of new studies and ideas, as well as open discussion and networking.
One study in particular, sponsored by the University of Washington, focused on the role of family and romantic relationships in the lives of suicidal individuals as compared to simple peer relationships. Though young adults have an observed tendency to place a great deal of import in their peer relationships, the level of bonding fails to reach that of family and romantic bonds, and the study has found that these deeper relationships are successful in both preventing and deterring suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially among those patients who exhibited symptoms previously.
Though there is much material to be explored and presented in regards to suicide among youth in modern America, the American Association of Suicidology is making strides to serve the needs of those affected.
© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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