According to a CDC report, child and teen suicide rates rose for the first time in more than a decade in 2004. India has the highest suicides worldwide and Bangalore is the suicide capital of the world.
The recent report of teen suicides in US is blamed on the stronger warning labels that led to a drop in the number of prescriptions for antidepressant drugs. The report seemed to concocted by drug companies who make antidepressent against FDA’s labeling norms. What is more disturbing is the dramatic rise of depression among teens in the west and the popular belief of psychatric medicine could cure them. Increased isolation, lack of social support system, weakening family units, cultural pressures etc all contributes to the state of teen mind. An individualistic approach of dealing with problems does not work and potential cure lie in understanding the social, cultural and spiritual realities associated with it.
Few years ago, a young Indian lady in Chicago committed suicide. February is often hard of women who are not in any kind of relationship. With gender imbalance in the Indian community, parental pressure to get married within one’s own community, cultural pressure to have boyfriend etc makes this valentine month hard for many women. In the last many years of youth work, I have come across many who have had prolonged depresion and suicidal thoughts. Socio-cultural and theological engagement of such issues could have averted young people from taking extreme steps. Are we ready to do that?