Lawmakers are considering a variety of approaches to stem an epidemic that makes suicide the third leading cause of death among New Jersey’s young people:
Training school workers to recognize the signs of bullying before they get out of hand.
Assembling a panel of experts to study ways to relieve the burdens too many teenagers grapple with on every day.
And, boosting schools’ ability to provide mental-health services.
Whatever action they arrive at, it can’t come fast enough. Statistics show that as many of one in 10 of our high school students has tried to kill himself or herself.
The relentless noise of social media, the fragmentation of family life, the constant striving to get into a good college or find a good job – parents and teachers can only shudder when they imagine what’s going on in young people’s minds.
It’s of little comfort that in the Garden State, the rate of death by suicide by that peer group remains below the national norm.
Nearly 800 of our youngsters died by their own hand in 2015, meaning the adults in the room need to recognize the enormous toll these pressures take on a vulnerable population.