It has been argued that youth unemployment explains the increasing suicide rate involving young people. How useful is this explanation?

Essay by nwonknuA, September 2004

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Death by suicide is a complex and intense personal act, reflecting any number of emotional issues. Such an act against oneself can derive from a multitude of psychological, sociological and environmental factors. Both Australia and other industrialised countries are presently experiencing high numbers of youth suicide deaths. An individual involved in unemployment may experience many of the precursors that lead to an event such as suicide. In many cases, the personal repercussions of unemployment in themselves can bring on many of the mental disorders associated with suicide such as depression, and a multitude of social issues. However, mental disorders such as, schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders have also been strongly linked with both attempted and successful suicides. There is evidence of a high suicide and unemployment rate being associated with environmental factors, such as people living in rural areas like the Torres Strait Islands, who may experience restricted access to health and community services.

Epidemiological studies have recognised a range of different factors, for example, drug abuse, sexual issues, family factors (eg abusive relationships), educational factors (eg leaving school early, academic failure), all of which have been shown to be associated with suicide suicidal behaviour. Addressing the subject of suicide is problematic, as the causation of suicide is not reliable. Sociological approaches to the youth suicide issue have identified relationships with wider social and political variables including social isolation, and changes within the youth labour market from the processes of globalisation and economic restructuring. Rather than youth unemployment itself being responsible for an increased youth suicide rate, it will be suggested that a combination of psychological sociological and environmental pressures, at times brought on by the mental impact of unemployment, are a more useful explanation into understanding the relationship between unemployment and youth suicide.

Adolescence and young adulthood is a...