Systemic change needed
to prevent teen suicide
Re: “CDC report: Youth suicide rates in Santa Clara County highest in Palo Alto, Morgan Hill” (Merucrynews.com, March 23, 2017):
Adolescent high school students of late in various South Bay Area schools have committed suicide. According to the Mercury News, quoting CDC statistics, from 2003 to 2015, the youth suicide rate was 14.1 per 100,000 in Palo Alto. The overall Santa Clara County rate was 5.4.
The workload our students are being subjected to is off the charts. Sleep is a requirement for good mental health, as well as stress management. Students are not sleeping because of the amount of work they have to do. The adolescent brain and body need sleep to develop properly. Sleep deprivation can trigger mental illness if conditions are right.
We need to lighten students’ load, instead of simply hiring more therapists. Why stick your finger in the dyke when you can stop the flood? Systemic changes are needed to prevent suicide. This should be the first point of inquiry, not mental health services.
Letter: Systemic change needed to prevent teen suicide