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Teen Suicide: An Urgent Issue in Alaska

             The issue of teenage suicide is requires urgent attention in Alaska. While possessing the lowest teenage population in the United States, Alaska has one of the highest suicide rates in all fifty states. One opinion, given by author Roger Tierney in Suicide Prevention in the Schools, states that the most effective way for students to be educated on the facts of suicide, awareness, and prevention is for a program to be implemented which allows teens who have overcame suicide to lead and educate their fellow students (Leenaars 13-14, 88). According to this unique viewpoint, the most effective solution to lower the suicide rate in the State of Alaska is to incorporate an Alaska Teen Suicide Prevention Program which will allow the teenage students who have been affected by suicide to lead, teach, and instruct their fellow students in suicide prevention/awareness. As teenage volunteers, you will have the opportunity to teach, train, and lead these suicide patients in the field of suicide prevention.
             Factors & Causes of Teen Suicide.
             The State of Alaska features one of the highest suicide rates in the United States at 36.6 per 100,000 (Top Five Leading Causes of Death by Age Group, Alaska). This statistic has been growing gradually since the year 2004, and represents a serious threat to the teenage population of Alaska. Scott Poland, who thoroughly researched the subject of suicide in high schools, suggests many factors contribute to the gruesome fate of suicide victims, such as family factors, substance abuse, depression, and rejection (30). Many of these factors, ranging from the breakdown of family structure to the overdose of an addictive substance, have the ability to drive a teenager to suicide. Poland, who extensively surveyed factors contributing to suicide, suggests the stress from these factors becomes overwhelming for students (34). Based on this, Poland agrees that this stress has the ability to drive a teenager toward suicide.

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