The high prevalence levels of suicidal tendencies have a huge impact on the health care institutions that deal with mental cases. These patterns must be monitored regularly since suicidal tendencies in various groups differ across time. Several measures can be utilized to curb teenage suicide. Community involvement is extremely imperative in curbing suicidal tendencies among African teenagers (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2010).
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The family should be aware of the teenagers’ growth and development. This ensures that parents handle teenagers appropriately while they are undergoing various crises. It is also important to create life and group therapy meetings that can assist in solving teenagers’ concerns. Moreover, measures should be put in place to ensure immediate response to teenagers’ concerns. It is worth noting that teenagers undergo extremely challenging moments.
Levels of Prevention
Several measures have to be implemented to minimize suicidal rates among African teenagers. These measures should involve the community’s social structures. The social structures include the local administration, churches, families, neighborhoods, and individuals. Each social structure should be aggressive in addressing the root causes of teenagers’ concerns. Inspirational and motivational discussions have a significant impact on enhancing self-esteem and self-worth. Support structures should be devised to develop strategies for re-instilling self-worth in teenagers (Peltzer, Cherian & Cherian, 2008).
Primary Health Care
The majority of psychological or psychiatric circumstances and drug abuse or dependence are linked to escalated suicidal tendencies. Hence, there is a need for keen attention, which can assist in the early detection of signs and treatment. If suicidal tendencies among teenagers are detected early enough, it is possible to solve suicidal cases within the primary health care environments. In primary health care environments, culturally relevant and holistic treatment measures would be more effective. Therefore, treatments should ensure that traditional beliefs are considered. It is worth pointing out that African- fashioned strategies would be more successful. Knowledge from western countries should not be implanted on African teenagers.
Further Training and Education
Individuals who deal with counseling and advising teenagers should be supported through training and education programs. These programs are imperative in eliminating the myths that surround suicidal tendencies. Moreover, they assist in offering information concerning the early identification of relevant signs. The programs are useful in enhancing skills development concerning measures for assisting and supporting the victims and their relatives.
More importantly, these programs should target stakeholders such as religious institutions, legal experts, police, and government bodies. Moreover, parents and school management should be engaged during the advocacy stages.
Universal evidence proves that curbing the availability and access to suicidal methods is exceptionally effective in preventing suicide. For instance, one of the most commonly used methods is overdose. To overdose himself, a teenager may use medications purchased from the over- the-counter, prescribed medications, household utilities, and pesticides. Other methods include jumping from high places, hanging, firearms, and grassing. There is also a close association between alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide (Nies & McEwen, 2011).
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Accessibility to these methods depends on the socio-demographic situation. There is a need for modification strategies to manage the distribution, manufacture, and sale of medications and drugs. Other measures include improving medical management of medicines, ensuring secure storage, controlling the use of guns, and creating awareness among community members.
Counselors must be informed of the factors that facilitate suicide among teenagers. Some of the factors include information about a certain method for committing suicide, accessibility to the various methods, peer pressure, cultural influence, negative self-esteem, and poor parenting. There is a need to comprehend these factors to ensure effective strategies.
Ways in which the Prevention levels can be applied to the Aggregate Health Concern
Primary health care can be applied at the aggregate health concern by ensuring that individual teenagers are informed about the significance of positive living. Teenagers should be advised to keep away from factors that can lead to suicide. In this regard, they should be discouraged from drug abuse, negative peer pressure, negative media, and idleness (Meel, 2003). In addition, education programs are strategic in awareness creation programs.
Teenage counselors should be engaged in training and education programs. Consequently, the counselor would be empowered to offer appropriate and adequate assistance to victims. When equipped adequately, counselors are in a better position to identify early warning signs. Moreover, they can offer the best advice to parents and guardians.
Interventions at the family and personal level are extremely significant. There should be a keen concern for the role of interpersonal issues and psychopathology in promoting suicide. In addition, action should be taken at the community level. Suicide prevention programs should focus on all the variables that contribute to suicidal tendencies. Community-based strategies can play a vital role in curbing suicide. The media can be extremely useful in clarifying perceptions and myths about suicide. Therefore, accountable media reporting is necessary. All relevant stakeholders should be included in the programs.
Meel, B. L. (2003). Determinants of suicide in the Transkei sub-region of South Africa. Journal of clinical forensic medicine, 10(2), 71-76.
Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2011). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders.
Peltzer, K., Cherian, V. I., & Cherian, L. (2008). Attitudes toward suicide among South African secondary school pupils. Psychological reports, 83(3f), 1259-1265.
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2010). Foundations of nursing in the community: Community-oriented practice (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby/Elsevier.