1. Why are there so many more young people, expressing thoughts of suicide at least once in their lives?
2. Does this mean we will have a greater population of unsound minds on our public streets, an endangerment to themselves and others ?
Yes, as a young person I have pondered on the above questions, and many more to same effects. I believe what I am seeing and it does create a stygian picture of our future, if the answers/ active solutions are not forthcoming, inclusive, strategic and deployed with a sense of urgency. What is even more frightening, is that this reality could be closer than we think and is in spite of claims of economic growth and increased this and that….
I believe how we should address root problems, is zooming on the factors that affect everyday life choices, feelings etc; realities that are not getting talked about, in any way to reach our youths, who are purportedly the future, that not many seem in a rush to reach out to. As it is now, more than one youth feels sidelined and excluded; alienated as a citizen in their own country. It is simply impossible to ask the youth, in a few years to come; to live in a future they did not help in shaping as they desired. Or, to ask them to contribute to a cause they were not consulted on or cannot relate to. In some respect, too, evolution must also be respected when dealing with generation gaps and not resort to/ approached in the same archaic way we are uses to in the handling of affairs.
Until we do that, our youth will bend until they break, and/or rebel; doing what they please with no sense of patriotism and at the same time no sense of individualism. Youth of this era (millenials and beyond) are not people to be boxed in and limited, abd too many young people are feeling the constant sense of being used, especially with only scars to show for this usory, even now as I speak and we all go about our lives. How we treat youth and attempt to impress upon them says more about the perpetrator than the youth themselves.
Back to the Depressive state of the country.
Does Jamaica need a Depression Centre? Yes. (It is long overdue, if you asked me). Disconnected families, relationships lead to bigger problems. Frankly, the youth have enough on their plates than to have to live in a society where they only make up numbers, and are treated as I described above. Where their dreams or aspirations don’t matter, to anyone at all. They jave to learn to fight and sometimes fight dirty (cutting off someone else). What does that day, again, about our value system and how we will thrive as a society?
I walk on the streets, I see people going about their businesses in an almost robotic state. Talking to young people, seeing and experience first hand how they are treated, and I see clearly that many are unhappy and sometimes, cimoketely defeated. To feel defeated, especially at such a young age, is especially worrisome. How could they not feel defeated though? When they had to learn early to be their own cheerleaders and caretakers? And it is after they have defied the odds ans suffered and sacrificed, that society bats an eye. This behaviour by society does more harm than good. Honestly, instead of hearing stories of achievers how they would have gone to bed hungry as they made sacrifices, I would have been more moved when the case would have been that their relatives and community support them, even with a meal, or a word of encouragement, rather than the naysaying, discouraging and slandering that the adults are herein infamous for. Yes these trials build character for these individual youth, but what does it say about our sense of community and patriotism??? And at what sacrifice to put youths who then become mature adults?
Me asking the questions above, certainly does not mean I have the answers.
And on the heels of Depression and feeling defeated, comed suicide (well more attempts, anyway), which as we all know is not the youth really wanting to die, but wanting to bring an end to the sense of cyclical doom; it will become more inviting, not because the youth are weak, but because for many they have already (and unfortunately) experienced a symptom that was referred to as, a loss of vitality (thank you Andrew Solomon). It is with a defeated spirit and no more will to fight or brave elements, that many chose this way out. To end pain they had difficulty getting someone to really listen to and empathize with (which is another story for another time).
As a youth, it is worrying, the Depressive state of affairs out country is in.