Ghana News & Trends

Suicide is on the rise for young Americans with no clear answers

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The story of Ben Salas, a promising criminology student at North Carolina State University who took his own life last April, has left his parents devastated. With no warning signs apparent, Ben’s death highlights the growing concern of suicide among young adults in the US.

Despite Ben briefly receiving treatment for mild depression in 2020, he reassured his parents that he had fully recovered. His close relationship with his family made it even more difficult for them to comprehend his decision to end his own life.

NC State University has been deeply affected by a series of suicides, with seven students taking their own lives in the previous academic year. The high number of suicides on campus has prompted the university to increase the number of counsellors and introduce initiatives like “QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer” to help students recognize signs of distress in their peers.

The Covid-19 pandemic may be a contributing factor to the rise in suicides among young people, according to Dr Christine Crawford, an expert in mental health. The increased isolation and exposure to distressing content on social media have had a negative impact on the mental health of young individuals.

Calls to national suicide helplines have seen a significant rise, with many young males and university students seeking help for the pressures they face. The stigma surrounding mental illness is a challenge that the Salas family hopes to raise awareness about, urging others to not settle for ‘I’m OK’ and to seek support when needed.


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