U.S.-born Asian-American women seem to be particularly at risk for suicidal behavior, according to new University of Washington research. The study shows 15.93 percent of U.S.-born Asian-American women have contemplated suicide in their lifetime, exceeding national estimates of 13.5 percent for all Americans. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817190650.htm)
This is true of coconut generation – girls have higher propensity than boys. When cultural and gender issues collide, crisis becomes acute. It is never as intense as during adolescence. Being a teenager is hard in all cultures, but children of immigrants suffer severly. Children of Asian immigrants particularly suffer where gender bias is adversely stands against women. Thus teen girls growing up in Asian immigrant dysfunctional homes are more inclined to consider ‘final exit’ more seriously.
So youth ministry in churches, school counselors and parents have a critical role of developing healthy relationships with teens to navigate children thro this difficult stage of life. Modern living makes it harder and we are pushed into isolation. Virtual relationships are not enough either. Teens need trusting real relationship, even when they lack relationship skills to sustain it.
Youth mentoring is powerful. Big brother, big sister program are so effective. Take some young people under your wings. Believe in them. Listen to them. be there for them. Ministry of availability and ministry of presence can make life transforming impact on the lives of teens.