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

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The BBC reported the following:

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

12 April 2024

Twenty-one-year-old Ben Salas took his own life last April. He was a promising criminology student at North Carolina State University and an aspiring Olympic athlete. He had many friends, a stable relationship and a loving family.

His death was one of 50,000 suicides registered in the US last year – the largest number ever recorded. In second place: 2022, which saw 49,449 suicides. …

Ben’s parents say their son briefly received treatment for mild depression in 2020, but subsequently reassured them that he had fully recovered.

“There weren’t any of the typical indicators that you would expect in a kid that was continuing to struggle mentally. He wasn’t withdrawn,” says Tony. …

The high number of suicides has been very difficult on staff and students alike, says Assistant Vice-Chancellor Justine Hollingshead, who is based at NC State’s sprawling campus in the centre of Raleigh, North Carolina. She says suicide is a “national epidemic” in the United States that isn’t limited to just college campuses.

“If we knew the reason, we would solve the problem. It’s not something that we’re trying to avoid or not figure out. But there may be no warning signs: individuals don’t tell their family or friends, they don’t reach out to resources and they make that decision. And we’ll likely never know why.”

NC State has increased the number of counsellors and drop-in spaces, and introduced a system called “QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer” so that students can recognise the signs that friends or classmates are struggling and get them help. …

In December 2021, the US surgeon general issued a rare public health advisory on the rising number of youth attempting suicide, singling out social media and the pandemic, which had “exacerbated the unprecedented stresses young people already faced”.

Calls to 988, a national suicide helpline with more than 200 centres across the US, increased by 100,000 per month in the last year alone.

It was on December 12, 2019, that the FCC approved a proposal for a nationwide suicide prevention hotline in the USA using the number ‘988’. But, instead of the numbers dropping, suicides are increasing.

While BBC is suggesting no clear answers, there certainly are known factors.

Suicide happens when people feel that they have no real reason for living and/or believe that they will suffer less (usually less mental suffering) if they ceased living.

Suicidal people are often lonely and depressed. Mental health issues play a role. And many lost faith or have sufficient connection to their religion. Many despair as they have lost hope. Social media also is playing a role.

Related to loneliness, note the following statistic and report:

52% of Americans report feeling lonely. 47% report their relationships with others aren’t meaningful. …

Statistics show that people who attend religious services regularly often report feeling less lonely than people who only attend intermittently throughout the year or do not attend church at all. Still, church attendance continues to decline throughout many countries, which may explain why loneliness continues to be a persistent challenge among many demographics.

For example, a majority of people in the U.S. report only going to religious services a few times a year. The number of people who attend monthly or weekly is under 50 percent. The larger share of people who attend are those older than Millennials, which themselves report feeling lonelier than older generations. accessed 04/12/24

As the rate of commitment to one’s faith diminishes, one is more likely to be lonely, a well as being more willing to kill oneself.

As far as depression goes, notice something from a Gallup poll from last Spring:

U.S. Depression Rates Reach New Highs

The percentage of U.S. adults who report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lifetime has reached 29.0%, nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2015. The percentage of Americans who currently have or are being treated for depression has also increased, to 17.8%, up about seven points over the same period. Both rates are the highest recorded by Gallup since it began measuring depression using the current form of data collection in 2015. 05/17/23

Notice a study related to despair and suicide:

Deaths of Despair: A Scoping Review on the Social Determinants of Drug Overdose, Alcohol-Related Liver Disease and Suicide

There is a lack of consensus on the social determinants of Deaths of Despair (DoD), i.e., an increase in mortality attributed to drug overdose, alcohol-related liver disease, and suicide in the United States (USA) during recent years. The objective of this study was to review the scientific literature on DoD with the purpose of identifying relevant social determinants and inequalities related to these mortality trends. …

Overall, findings identify a progressive increase in deaths attributable to suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol-related liver disease in the USA in the last two decades. The literature concerning DoD and social determinants is relatively scarce and some determinants have been barely studied. (Beresan E, et al. 2022 Oct; 19(19): 12395. )

What the study basically concluded was that the deaths of despair are increasing, but they are not sure why. But one conclusion is that despairing of hope increases suicides.

Regarding hope, we have a video on that:


The New Testament teaches that Christians are to have hope. What are ways to be more hopeful? Pocket, a secular source, recommended an article about that. In this video, Dr. Thiel goes over many points of that article and ties them into numerous scriptures that teach about hope. Dr. Thiel also notes that multiple times, the Apostle Paul taught about faith, love, and hope together. Dr. Thiel also quotes Jesus related to not worrying and seeking first the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, he refers to mysteries of God’s plan that most do not understand. He also reads what the Bible promises will occur in the new earth.

Here is a link to our sermonette video: How to Be More Hopeful.

Michael Snyder posted the following related to problems in American society:

Americans Are Lonely, Miserable And Depressed …

What in the world has happened to us? Once upon a time, America was made up of tightly-knit communities that were united by family, faith and patriotism, but now we are more isolated than ever before. …

For the past couple of generations, we have de-emphasized family, faith and patriotism as a nation, and instead we have become an extremely “me-centered” society that is primarily focused on doing whatever makes ourselves happy in the moment. But this single-minded pursuit of individual happiness has resulted in much of the country being perpetually mired in loneliness, depression and/or addiction.

As a society, we decided that marriage wasn’t important. So now we have one of the lowest marriage rates and one of the highest divorce rates in the entire world.

As a society, we decided that children weren’t important. So now our birth rate has dropped below replacement level and a third of all U.S. children live in a home without a father. …

As a society, we decided that God wasn’t important. So now just about every form of evil that you can possibly imagine is exploding in our society, and we are literally on a path that leads to national suicide.  …

Society would have us believe that those that have the most money are the most “successful”. But that is not true at all. In reality, those that love the most are really the most “successful”, and so let us endeavor to be people of great love.  12/10/19

Lack of faith in God, trying to redefine families, killing babies via abortion, etc. are leading to a type of national suicide–as well as increases in individual suicide.

The rise in the use of social media has played a role. Notice the following:

Social media use by minors has significantly increased and has been linked to depression and suicidality. Simultaneously, age-adjusted suicide rates have steadily increased over the past decade in the United States with suicide being the second most common cause of death in youth. Hence, the increase in suicide rate parallels the simultaneous increase in social media use. (Meman AM, et al. The role of online social networking on deliberate self-harm and suicidality in adolescents: A systematized review of literature. …

Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behavior … It was found that the overall prevalence of SITB was twice as higher in females than males in all areas except for suicidal gestures. Higher web communication scores led to increased risk of all forms of SITB in males, 2018 Oct-Dec; 60(4): 384–392.

The first factor that has caused an increase in suicide prevalence rates among teens on social media is overuse.  A 10-year longitudinal study at BYU discovered that teenage girls who spent two to three hours daily on social media at age 13 were at a higher risk for suicide as young adults. … studies have tied social media use to an increased risk of anxiety disorders, depression, and suicidal ideas.,for%20suicide%20as%20young%20adults. accessed 04/12/24

Social media tends to depress young females more than males by presenting impossible beauty standards, while also pushing unnatural female sexual response. But males spending a lot of time on social media looks to increase suicides for those with other mental health issues–females with other mental health issues are also more affected.

Another major thing really has been the rise is the LGBTQ agenda–and perhaps it should be pointed out that there is greatly increased suicide for males who have “gender reassignment surgeries”:

April 2, 2024

Rates of attempted suicide who identified as transgender more than doubled after receiving a vaginoplasty (surgically turning one’s dick into a vagina), according to a peer-reviewed study published in The Journal of Urology.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Dr. Alfonso Oliva, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, said research into the psychiatric outcomes and long-term follow-up of those who have sex-reassignment surgery is lacking, but an important paper is worth mentioning. In a 2011 paper published in PLOS ONE, researchers found that people who underwent sex reassignment surgery had substantially higher rates of overall mortality, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric morbidity compared with the general population.

It’s hard to refute this paper because it’s a longitudinal study,” Dr. Oliva said. “In Sweden, everyone is in a database, and through diagnosis codes, they’re able to follow what happens to every citizen in terms of their medical history. They waited more than 10 years after people had surgery and found that death by suicide had an adjusted hazard ratio of 19.1.”

So, no, becoming LGBTQ+ does not reduce suicides.

What about having money?

The late Herbert W. Armstrong noted that some who seemed successful in this age, truly were not successful. Here is some of what he wrote many decades ago:

Every two minutes someone in the United States attempts suicide. Each day nearly 70 persons succeed—but is that success? The World Health Organization estimates that some one thousand people commit suicide in the world—every day!

Suicides now outnumber murders. Now various organizations for the prevention of suicide are a reality! But the cause is individual failure!

Only a minority, of course, go to this extreme, but the overwhelming majority do end their lives in failure…

People will ignore all their lives any idea of divine guidance and help—yet if one should find himself on a foodless and waterless raft after a shipwreck in mid-ocean, it is remarkable how quickly he would begin to believe there really is a living God! In last-resort desperation most people will cry out to Him whom they have ignored, disobeyed, and set at naught all their lives.

Wouldn’t it seem axiomatic that, if there is a compassionate beneficent Creator standing ready and willing to give us emergency help as a last resort, it would have been more sensible to have sought His guidance and help all along? Yet some have acquired wealth, lived luxuriously, and then, suddenly losing all, turned finally to God in their economic distress. Others have committed suicide…

Is it possible that the living GOD might be a factor in determining the success or failure of one’s life? Few have thought so.

People will ignore all their lives any idea of divine guidance and help—yet if one should find himself on a foodless and waterless raft after a shipwreck in mid-ocean, it is remarkable how quickly he would begin to believe there really is a living God! In last-resort desperation most people will cry out to Him whom they have ignored, disobeyed, and set at naught all their lives.

Wouldn’t it seem axiomatic that, if there is a compassionate beneficent Creator standing ready and willing to give us emergency help as a last resort, it would have been more sensible to have sought His guidance and help all along? Yet some have acquired wealth, lived luxuriously, and then, suddenly losing all, turned finally to God in their economic distress. Others have committed suicide. Few, it seems, will ever rely on their Maker and life-Sustainer until they feel helpless and in desperate need. Even then the motive too often is selfish.

Yet, if we are to enjoy the good things of life—freedom from fears and worries, peace of mind, security, protection, happiness, abundant well-being—the very SOURCE of their supply is the Great God! Since all comes from Him anyway, why not tap the SOURCE from the very beginning?

But in our day of modern science, sophistication and vanity, it has not been fashionable to believe in a Maker. In this deceived world, knowledge of God has found little or no place in modern education.

The ALL-IMPORTANT seventh Law of Success, nevertheless, is having contact with, and the guidance and continuous help of GOD!

And the person who does put this all-important seventh law last is very probably dooming his life to failure at the end. (Armstrong HW. The Seven Laws of Success,)

Society is going the wrong way.

But that was prophesied;

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (2 Timothy 3:1-8)

Where can people find the truth?

In the word of God:

17 Your word is truth. (John 17:17)

13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 14. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 2:13-14a).

7 … the word of truth, (2 Corinthians 6:7)

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; (Ephesians 1:13)

5 the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, (Colossians 1:5)

The word “gospel” means GOOD NEWS!

Though suicides are up, for those who will believe God, hope should be up!

You do NOT have to be depressed like more and more in society are.

Notice some scriptures that show how to reduce depression and eliminate suicide:

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.  (Proverbs 3:13-18)

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. (Proverbs 28:14)

19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Wisdom can be found in the word of God and be the tree of life for those willing to retain wisdom. Those who harden their heart to disobey fall into calamity, which can affect mood and even longevity.

Many in the world feel hopeless. But real Christians are not to have “sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

You do not have to be like others in society. You should live God’s way and let your light shine:

14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Should you know someone that is considering suicide, here are some tips from the International Association for Suicide Prevention:

  • There are ways in which you can show that you care by reaching in and supporting someone in a suicidal crisis.
  • When a person tells you that they are suicidal you must take them seriously.
  • If you are worried that somebody is suicidal, you can ask them if you feel comfortable doing so. Research shows that talking to someone openly about suicide does not increase their risk of suicide.
  • If you are comfortable speaking with them about suicide, try to use clear and direct language, for example, “I care a lot about you, do you feel suicidal?”
  • People with lived experience of suicide highlight how helpful it is to have someone to talk to who listens. It is not about coming up with solutions, but about listening to the person and supporting them explore options for seeking help and safety.
  • It is important to encourage helpseeking behaviour and linking to professional support. You can help the person you are supporting by being there for them when they call a helpline or make an appointment with a health professional. accessed 04/12/24

As a Christian, we know that death is not the end–all will be resurrected, including the suidiced, who will be judged and have to live another 100 years (cf. Isaiah 65:20). Now, there are times you may wish to refer a suicidal person to a professional counselor, but you should also use wisdom and you may wish to help them have hope through the teachings of the word of God.

Jesus said:

4 … “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’“ (Matthew 4:4)

Those who live by the word of God do not commit suicide.

God’s word teaches:

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-14)

Yes, God’s commands are for OUR GOOD.

But the world does not accept that. To learn more about God’s commands check out the free book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.

What would make people happy?

Notice some scriptures:

18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18)

15 Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Psalms 144:15)

21 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Proverbs 14:21)

5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever, (Psalms 146:5-6)

More and more in the USA do not accept the revealed word of God. They have cast aside various moral restraints and care little for others. They do not want to be the people of the real God. This has not made them happy.

Jesus came that we might have LIFE, “and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

As the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians:

12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all … (1 Thessalonians 3:12)

Whether male or female, humans are intended to give love.

Some may wonder why God created anything.

God created what He did so that the universe would be better.

Why did God create people?

God created people so that they would be able to give love and increase the amount of love in the universe.

Why did God create YOU?

God created you so that after going through the tests and trials of this life that, if you will accept His offer of salvation, that you will be able to give love in a unique way to make eternity better for yourself and everyone else.

Why did God make everyone else?

God made everyone else, so they can help influence your life in this age to aid in your character development. But remember that God also made everyone else who will accept His offer of salvation, in order for them to be able to give love in their unique ways in order to make eternity better for you and all of them personally.

Details on why that is so is in the free booklet, online at titled The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

That is good news–and a fantastic hope.

God has a plan (see also The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?).

And ultimately, His Kingdom will replace this world’s societies. That, too, is good news.

But YOU do not need to wait until then.

You can strive to live according to the word of God now.

You can be happy now.

UPDATE 04/14/24: We just uploaded the following related video:


Suicides Up! Why?

A new report shows that the number of suicides in the USA broke a record in 2022 that was surpassed with a new record in 2023. Many ‘experts’ have no answers for why this is occurring. Suicides have gone up since the FCC approved 988 as the national suicide prevention telephone number. What are factors that seem to contribute to increased suicides? Do 52% of Americans report loneliness? Are more Americans depressed than before? Do more despair of death? What about the influence of religion, marriage, and family? Does money make success? What is truth? Does the Bible speak about how to be happy? What about reliance on God? What about the LGBTQ influence? Has social media increased suicide rates among young men and women? Why? Should you talk with people who say they are considering suicide? What, according to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, are tips to help you assist those who are suicidal? Does suicide end existence according to the Bible? Why did God create anything? Why did God make you? What is your purpose? What about the purpose of everyone else? Dr. Thiel and Steve Dupuie discuss these topics.

Here is a link to our video: Suicides Up! Why?

Suicide is never the answer.

You do not need to go the wrong direction that most in the world have accepted.

Some items of possibly related concerns may include:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? Here is a link to a related sermon: What really happens after death?
The Second Death The New Testament speaks of something called the “second death.” Who will be subject to it? How does it end? Here is a link to a related sermon: First death, Second death.
Are The Wicked Tormented Forever or Burned Up? How does one explain Revelation 14:11 in light of Malachi 4:3? What happens to the incorrigibly wicked?
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
The Seven Laws of Success Herbert W. Armstrong had seven laws that he felt could help people become successful.
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There are also three YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children and USA pushing gender confusion.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality and the LGBTQ agenda? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? A short video is available titled: Gay Gene? Born That Way?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
How to Overcome Depression and Discouragement This is an article by Paul Krautmann & John Siston.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.
About Baptism Should you be baptized? Could baptism be necessary for salvation? Who should baptize and how should it be done? Here is a link to a related sermon: Let’s Talk About Baptism and Baptism, Infants, Fire, & the Second Death.

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