The feeling of loneliness and the belief that no one will understand them, the need for constant competition – these are the main causes of suicides among young people. Changes are needed in the education system. Parents should pay more attention to their children, and children should not only know what happened in 1410, but also know the number 116 111 – says Dr. Agata Rudnik, psychologist, author of the book “How were we supposed to know?” Its title is the words of the mother of a teenager who tried to commit suicide.
Katarzyna Pinkosz, Wprost: We all lived recently the tragedy of 8-year-old Kamil, who died due to domestic violence. Domestic violence can be different, not only physical, but also psychological. You, together with a group of researchers, conducted research in four schools in Gdańsk where suicides of young people occurred in 2021. Is domestic violence also one of the risk factors for suicide?
Dr. Agata Rudnik: Yes, although of course it is not the only risk factor and does not occur in every case. It may be physical violence, but also verbal: calling names, belittling the child’s self-esteem. There is also economic violence: I remember the case of a father who, in order to “punish” the mother of his children, rationed money for food.
Violence always leaves a huge mark on a young person, just like alcohol abuse.
You conducted a number of conversations with students, parents and teachers. What picture emerges of the reasons why young people decide to commit suicide?
We talked to both students, parents, teachers, psychologists, pedagogues, and representatives of the management at three general secondary schools and a technical secondary school. There are many reasons for suicide attempts, most often they are problems in communicating with others, talking about one’s problems, and, above all, great loneliness.
Young people lack people to whom they can turn to with their problems, and they feel that it is impossible to solve
“I have no one to turn to, I can’t trust anyone, I have no hope that anyone will help me, there is nothing I can do” – this is the main problem.