SUICIDE EPIDEMIC IN THE USA


America is in the midst of a suicide epidemic, reflecting deeper problems that go beyond mental illness. Youth suicide has increased 56% in the last decade.

Suicide and homicide rates have increased in recent years among young people in the U.S., according to a new federal report. The suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 years old climbed 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Youth suicide rate has increased 56% in the last Decade

Suicide rates in general have increased in the U.S. across all ages and ethnic groups, rising roughly 30% from 1999 to 2016. In 2017, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among those ages 10 to 24,

Within the decade 2007 to 2017, suicide deaths increased from 6.8 deaths per 100,000 people to 10.6 deaths, with 2,449 more suicides in 2017 than in 2007. While the 10- to 14-year-olds had by far the lowest rate of suicides, that rate nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017.

Despite concern over the rising suicide rates, researchers aren’t sure of the exact causes. A rise in depression among adolescents, drug use, stress and access to firearms might all be contributing factors, experts say.

Some mental-health experts suggest that social-media use among teens might be fuelling the increase in mental-health conditions and leading to greater suicide risk, and some early studies have linked smartphone use to anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation among adolescents. The recent visibility of suicide in the media and online might also increase suicide death rates, experts say.

The reality is our culture denies that life has any transcendent meaning, or that God has sovereignty over life, so we can’t be shocked when people take that message to heart. Hope is the opposite of despair. If anything, the latest data reflect a nation in desperate need, not for escape, but the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.

Reversing the deadly cycle

Christians find a message of eternal hope in the person of Jesus Christ, and the Bible is filled with verses that describe the hope we have in God.

Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Lotz Graham described how her Christian faith has been an asset in her efforts to help those seeking peace, hope, and relief amid feelings of despair.

“My Christian faith in the foundation of my counselling theory and approach,” she told Faithwire. “Even though I work in a non-Christian treatment facility, I strongly believe that I am in a position to show acceptance, patience, and care to my clients in a way that hopefully helps them feel safe enough to work on their core emotional challenges.”

TRUE FACE OF ISLAM

Rita Chaima radiates with joy. When you see her face, you can tell she’s filled with deep happiness and contentment.  But that’s the opposite of the way she used to feel. Chaima was raised a Muslim, and from an early age she struggled with suicidal depression.  She tells her powerful story in a new documentary called “In His Footsteps” by a ministry called The Last Reformation.

Rita Chaima 2

“I just saw a cruel world and I didn’t want to be a part of it,” she recalls.  Chaima says she tried to kill herself three times. “I was doing drugs, I was smoking, I was smoking anything… I just wanted to destroy myself.”  At one point she became so angry that she made up her mind to join ISIS in Syria. “I hated people who weren’t Muslim. I wanted to kill them,” she says. The videos by ISIS-inspired her. “I loved to see them bleeding. I was seeing videos of decapitation and loved it.

But then something else happened. Her mom got a bunch of free books for her, and there was a Bible among them. That’s when Chaima met Jesus.

“I started to read the Bible to prove to Christians that they were wrong,” she says. “But I was wrong! And the grace of Jesus Christ started to touch me.”

“I was reading things like ‘pray for your enemies,’ ‘love them,’ and I was someone who wanted to kill them. Intellectually, I didn’t want to accept Jesus, but Jesus started to do a work in my heart,” she says. She couldn’t resist the love of Jesus anymore, so she decided to follow Him.

When she told her family what she had done, they rejected her. She says they stopped talking to her, and for months she was alone in her room. “It was like a prison.”

She says in the past, depression would have overtaken her. But not this time. She started to read the Bible a lot. “Jesus was there with me. He was encouraging me. The Holy Spirit was really there. I felt it, I knew it.”

Her Muslim family has now totally abandoned her, but her story doesn’t end there.

When it was time for Chaima to be baptized, something supernatural happened.

“I don’t even remember what I did. I had to see the video of my baptism. I was completely crazy, the demon was crazy, it wasn’t me. I kicked Jon. He baptised me. I kicked him.” But as she flailed and screamed, Jon continued to minister over her, telling the demon to go until peace finally came over her body. She was finally set free and baptised in the Holy Spirit.

“After the baptism I felt like the heavy weight completely disappeared. And I was so excited to go and make disciples,” she said.

“I started to want to talk about Jesus to everyone, even to the people who led me to terrorism. I wanted to go and see them, tell them that they are wrong, and that love is waiting for them.”

And that’s just what she now does, traveling with gospel minister Peter Ahlman and other Christians, she shares her testimony wherever she goes.

You can watch her testimony below through an excerpt from the “In His Footsteps” documentary by The Last Reformation.