Killing oneself is the last resort, a way out of a life they no longer want to live. A compassionate approach and a rigorous examination of the psychological and sociological factors that contribute to the ever-growing number of tragedies is required it seems. Our Tuesday-Thoughts are on June last year at the height of England’s summer heat wave and on the cusp of world cup glory, the grim statistic that teenagers in London are killing themselves 107% more than since 2013 came to light.
The national average is less than a quarter of what it is in London and so the capital’s long and heavy tradition of being seen as an oppressive place to live seems to show no signs of changing any time soon. Those who live in the capital are subject to higher levels of crime and poverty than anywhere else in the country. These factors are considered significant as this denotes a lack of social mobility to those born into poor areas. Being born ‘poor’ and having a life of strife seems, sadly, to be what many London teenagers believe their destiny is.
With another year of soaring rents and house prices, the views of London’s teenagers are rooted somewhat in reality. Although riches are no doubt helpful in the achievement of one’s aims, the mindset must be addressed first of all. If one feels there is no hope, then there is no hope. Wealthy or otherwise. These young people need the love and encouragement needed to make positive choices and become masters of their own destinies.
Unfortunately, homicide rates as well as other violent crimes are significantly higher in the capital than in most areas in the UK, with gang culture prevalent in many poorer areas. These facts are nothing new but the significant rise in the suicides of teenagers is surely an alarm most of us should take notice of. The battleground against suicide starts and ends in the mind. Teenagers urgent need for spiritual nourishment has never been more clear.
Youth workers in London have called the city a ‘pressure cooker’ of social issues and the encroaching pressure to succeed in a society where the lives of others are illuminated for personal dissection on social media is becoming too much for some to bear. Its a crude answer to blame social media but is our wanton relationship with screens eroding our self-esteem? It’s worth considering at least.
Some more alarming figures for you now as Anxiety has risen 52%, depression 13% and self- harm 30% in North London alone, with these figures acting as evidence that action needs to be taken. The inundation of many youth charities from teenagers with nowhere else to go prove that there are many vulnerable people out there in need of support. Getting to the root of the issue is no doubt going to be gruelling but its a task we must familiarise ourselves with.
We are essentially in a state of emergency with young people in London no longer believing there is hope. With hope a state of mind, it’s important to note that for any young people reading this, there is hope and you are loved. Mental health charity Mind evidenced the shocking findings that now nearly 40% of all GP appointments are related in some way to mental health issues, it’s important that these messages of love are conveyed.