Dubai: Yet another suspected case of teen suicide was reported on Sunday, December 8 in the UAE. A 16-year-old Indian girl died after falling off the window of her sixth floor apartment in Umm Al Quwain.
On Friday, a 15-year-old girl, an only child to her parents and lived in Sharjah, had died after a fall from her 10th floor apartment around 10pm on Friday. She was also Indian.
Why does this happen?
A research team has tried to understand why teens look at hurting themselves, or worse, killing themselves.
The study by researchers from QIMR Berghofer and The University of Queensland's Centre for Clinical Research examined risk factors that prompted 12 to 17-year-olds to transition from thinking about hurting themselves to acting on those thoughts.
They gathered data from 1,600 high school students - psychological, social, and behavioural data - and then reassessed the data after one year.
Primary researcher and PhD candidate Emily Hielscher, from QIMR Berghofer's Child and Youth Mental Health Research Group, said, "Of those adolescents, 216 reported experiencing suicidal thoughts at the start of the study, and they were interviewed 12 months after that time to see who actually went on to attempt suicide."
"Interestingly, we found that adolescents who said they'd been diagnosed with depression and had experienced stressful life events, such as bullying, were not at significantly increased risk of suicide attempts. These findings support other studies that show such factors as depression and impulsivity are not good at predicting who will go on to transition from suicidal thoughts to attempts."
The 16-year-old girl who died on Sunday was reported to have been suffering from bipolar affective disorder with a current episode of severe depression.
Suicide leading cause of death
Another statistic that is troubling is that suicide is the leading cause of death in 15 to 24-year-olds.
Senior author and the head of QIMR Berghofer's Mental Health Program, Associate Professor James Scott, said, ""A key challenge is that suicidal thinking in adolescents is common. Identifying the risk factors that are associated with the transition of adolescents from thinking of suicide to acting on those thoughts is critical for keeping young people safe."
"There appears to be something about adolescents experiencing hallucinations which elevates their risk of suicide, on top of the effect of being distressed," he added.
The study looked at data collected through self-reported questionnaires conducted at 12- month intervals from 2010 to 2012. Participants were offered support and those who were identified as being at risk of suicide were referred to the appropriate support service.
Indian expats can rely on a distress hotline and a help centre, sponsored by the Indian Embassy here.
Callers can discuss their emotional and financial issues, and they will be either assisted on the phone or scheduled to meet a counsellor, free of cost. The hotline is 800 46342.
- Inputs from ANI