Suicide is an uncommon topic in tween media, but the sudden and heartbreaking news of suicide victim, Tyler Clementi, reminds us we have to face these difficult facts.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, girls ages 10 to 14 have the fastest growing suicide rate of any population group, with the rate increasing 75.9% between 2003 and 2004 (the most recent data available). It’s a frightening statistic. If you’re a parent of a girl, please take a look–together at Stop Bullying Now. There is information for both youth and adults.
Though the reasons for suicide are complicated and complex, bullying is one trigger playing a part in some of the recent suicides we’ve heard about in the news. A NewMoon.com bullying chat for members last night showed us that bullying is on the minds of girls. One of our adult moderators told me, “Our chat room has never been so full! And the girls have never been more focused on a discussion before.” Fortunately some girls are taking real action, like Dominique Napolitano teen member of Girl Scouts of the USA’s Let Me Know (LMK) program. Check out the video where she answers questions at a hearing on Ensuring Student Cyber Safety last summer.
Finally, please take a moment to watch Kitty Westin’s video on the importance of suicide prevention and awareness. Talk to your daughters, your sons, and all the young people in your life about this frustrating reality. Be well.