Alejandra Sanchez / The newspaper
Sunday, September 11, 2022 | 05:00 hours
Chihuahua.- Mariana, 9 years old, Roberto, 14, Carlos, 13 and Magali, 12 (fictitious names to guarantee rights), decided to end their lives.
According to the statistics of the General Prosecutor’s Office, from January to September of this year, 29 suicides of children and adolescents were registered; while in 2021 41 were counted, giving a total of 70 in one year and nine months.
FOUR OF THE CASES
Mariana, calm, responsible and cheerful girl
Mariana, aged 9, originally from Rallamuli, decided to end her life on May 31; She lived in the Albergue Tarahumara de San Andrés, a community located in Parral, just off the short road to Chihuahua.
“She was calm, responsible and cheerful; his greatest desire was to advance and make a career; Without a doubt, her departure has left us with great pain and great impact, we can’t believe that the girl is no longer here,” said Felipe Hernandez, principal of Mati si Ke School.
In addition, the head of the school pointed out that Mariana is a girl full of energy. He said little was known about the family environment, as it was difficult to get to know the students’ lifestyles because of the number of boys and girls the school had.
Despite the fact that the victim’s relatives indicated that the girl was a victim of bullying; Felipe Hernandez said that Mariana never mentioned this situation and that she never showed signs that there was any problem because, in her words, “she was always smiling and very disciplined.”
“This unpleasant fact has shaken the entire institution and the community as a whole, bullying is not a factor for the girl to make a decision, because respect for others has always been instilled in students through conversations that are constantly offered to him,” said the Manager.
He also said they have school security because the school’s student population has increased by 40 percent, with girls and boys from different backgrounds, so there is always dialogue and instilling respect.
The suicides of Roberto and Carlos happened in less than 24 hours
It was 4:59 p.m. on June 2 when Roberto, 14, was found dead in his room; he lived in the subdivision of La Ciudadela, in Ciudad Cuauhtémoc.
Municipal police reported that upon arrival at the home, they met the mother of the teenager, who stated that upon arrival she found the door closed, which is why she decided to enter through the back of the house.
Entering, she found her youngest son visibly lifeless, tried to revive him, but he was already without vital signs.
In the same city, minutes before 8:00 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 13-year-old Carlos took his own life in a home located in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood.
The officers met with the victim’s grandmother, who said that she was the one who found her grandson, tried to revive him, but he was already without vital signs.
“Magali, forgive us for not being able to help heal your wounds”
On the morning of Tuesday, September 6, around 7:00 a.m., 911 was called to report the suicide of 12-year-old Magali.
Her relatives reported calling her to go to school; however, she was found lifeless in her room.
The event that took place in Ojinaga shocked hundreds of people on social media who posted comments such as: “Your passing hurts girl, I hope and forgive all of us who could not help you heal the wounds in your heart, understand that that life was beautiful with everything and its mistakes. Rest in peace”.
Among other condolences are: “no words for this difficult time, may she rest in peace with God and surrounded by angels and her family find comfort as time goes by, DEP beautiful girl.”
This event took place in Jimenez, on Leyes de Reforma Street in Barrio de Carmen, where paramedics from the Department of Civil Protection and the Fire Department of Jimenez were present, as well as elements from the FGE, expert services and forensic sciences.
“No more suffering or pain”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide is defined as the intentional act of taking life. Its prevalence and the methods used vary from country to country.
From a mental health perspective, adolescents have a particular vulnerability because of their stage of development.
Adolescence is a socially constructed category used to refer to the period from childhood to adulthood. This period is usually characterized as a stage of full development and major changes. However, adolescence is not experienced in the same way by all people, it is determined by social, economic and cultural factors.
According to a WHO report, “having suicidal thoughts from time to time is not unusual. They are part of a normal developmental process in childhood and adolescence in trying to clarify existential issues when it comes to understanding the meaning of life and death.
The report also explains that the majority of people who attempt suicide are ambivalent and not exclusively seeking death. It is then assumed that the suicidal person does not want to die, but wants to stop suffering. This premise is compounded by the idea that children between the ages of 8 and 11 have no idea that death is eternal, as do many adolescents.
Therefore, they may think that when they die, the people who made them suffer will change their minds and stop hurting them when they are resurrected.
Warning signs and risk factors
According to the National System for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, there are signs and risk factors that can predict a suicide attempt, including:
Emotional problems: extreme fears, anxiety, low self-esteem, guilt or self-harm such as cutting oneself with knives or starting to use or abuse substances such as alcohol, tobacco or other illegal drugs.
Problems in social relationships: a decrease in the number of friends, social isolation, even from close people, and a feeling of lack of family or social support.
Cognitive problems: hyperactive behavior, physical risk such as practicing viral challenges to cause damage, problems with attention and concentration; as well as reduced academic performance.
Eating disorders: anorexia (avoiding food, restricting or eating only very small amounts), bulimia (compensatory behavior for binge eating, such as compulsive vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise) or binge eating disorder (they lose control over what they eat).
History of relatives or loved ones with suicide attempts or suicides.
Experiencing abuse: physical, psychological or emotional abuse, lack of care from caregivers, abandonment, bullying, cyberbullying or sexual abuse.
Being in the process of grieving due to the loss of: a family member, a pet, parents’ divorce, feelings of rejection, economic problems in the family, or the head of the family not having a job.
Aim to have firearms or medicine nearby.
Searching the Internet or social media groups for topics related to suicide, in addition to previous suicide attempts.
The National Framework for the Protection of Girls, Boys and Adolescents states that these signs or risk factors will be different for each girl, boy or adolescent and that they vary by age, gender and context.
What are the protective elements for child and adolescent suicide prevention?
This same case, which is designed to align, integrate, design and implement public policy with a human rights perspective of children and adolescents in the bodies, entities, mechanisms, instances, laws, policy regulations, services and budgets of the national, local and municipal level to respect, promote, protect, restore and restore the rights of children and adolescents; and repair the damage when they are violated, states that the protective elements to prevent suicide of children and adolescents are the following:
Dialogue with them and them, listen carefully and without suppressing their emotions and feelings.
Accompany, follow what they learn in school, social networks and the Internet, take an interest in their friends and the people with whom they communicate, communicate and trust.
Allow them to express their emotions, feelings; “we grew up in a society where we were taught that ‘men don’t cry’, that ‘women don’t need to be understood, they need to be loved’ or that one shouldn’t show frailty in order not to be vulnerable; however, allowing girls, children and adolescents to express themselves will create an environment of trust and mutual respect”.
Empathize3 with their ideas and thoughts: avoid telling them how to feel or phrases like “get excited”, “if you don’t feel good it’s because you don’t want to”, “you’re exaggerating, get over it”; help them understand that problems can be solved better in the company of people who love them and use phrases like: “what are you worried about?”, “I understand how painful it can be” or “how can I help you “.
Show love: embrace your daughters and sons, show them with love and by example that it doesn’t matter if they don’t get the best grades, that regardless of hair color, clothing, sexual orientation or the music they listen to, they can be people with principles and values focused on respecting the human rights of other people.
Seek professional help; moms, dads and family members are important. There are traumatic events in the lives of children and adolescents that require help from mental health experts such as psychologists or psychiatrists.