Ready for the upcoming school term may be stressful for parents who are constrained to ensure that their kids or children have all the necessary uniforms and accessories. Returning to school after the summer vacations might seem much worse for a youngster who has been silently suffering.
Back-to-school fear grips many school-aged children; if such concern remains unaddressed, it may lead to a suicidal attempt by kids. What is popular on social media might be a smart step to begin discussing the mental health of today’s children. In fact, it is not a taboo subject to discuss as it was in past days.
Pre-teens and adolescents are chatting about the ‘back to school necklace’ on TikTok and Twitter. Although parents may dismiss the issue just by considering it another casual item, it really has a far darker connotation that should not be overlooked since discussing it might save a child’s life.
What does back to school necklace mean?
A brief Google search shows that the term “back to school necklace” is a metaphor for a noose, and it is used as a euphemism for suicide by hanging.
The following definition and example are provided by Urban Dictionary, which records the meanings of uncommon terms:
- A noose is also known as a “back to school necklace.” This is related to the absolute misery a kid experience when school resumes.
- Example – School began yesterday, and a child could no longer handle it, so the child purchased a “back to school necklace.”
Memes related to back to school necklace
Back to school necklaces, like many other adolescent trends, may be found on social media platforms in the form of hashtags and memes. The most popular result we can expect while Google searching the phrase is an image of a noose.
Suicide rates among teenagers are rising
When you consider that teenage suicide is on the upswing in the United Kingdom, the prominence of the term back to school necklace is extremely concerning.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), in 2012, the suicide rate among 15 to 19-year-olds was 4.35 per 100,000, but by 2016, it had risen to 4.62 per 100,000.
Students in the United States have reported weariness related to their coursework throughout the epidemic.
Over the last decade, the number of young individuals who have committed suicide has increased dramatically. In the United States, the suicide rate among young individuals aged 10 to 24 increased by over 60% between 2007 and 2018.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or want to assist someone else, take the help of mental health professional.
What should you do if you sense your kid is suicidal or anxious about returning to school?
It is crucial to be educated and vigilant, as it always is. If you hear your kid say “back to school necklace” or is suicidal for any other reason, you should seek professional treatment right away. The NHS website is a fantastic place to start since it offers guidance on how to obtain support as well as a list of charities to contact. Below are the checkpoints by which you can determine whether a youngster has a mental health problem.
Is a child’s behavior changing, or are they retreating from social contact? Or are they spending a lot more time in their rooms than they were previously?
- Do they like to be alone a lot?
- Do they spend a lot of time in front of the screen?
- Sudden mood changes
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances
- Symptoms of depression.
- They are not doing the things they used to.
- Child not being able to enjoy life.
- Is their dietary or sleeping schedule out of sync?
- They might be engaged in dangerous behaviors, giving away their stuff, or announcing that they will not be around for much longer.
- You may be looking for indicators of self-harm as well.
How to help your child in such situations?
Suicidal kids are unlikely to seek assistance directly; however, school officials, parents, and peers may see the warning signals and act quickly to keep the youngster safe. When a young person shows indicators of suicidal behavior, the following steps should be taken:
- Maintain your calmness.
- Inquire directly with the teen whether they are feeling suicidal.
- Avoid being judgmental and instead focus on your care regarding their well-being.
- Listen to your kid.
- Assure them that aid is available and that they will not remain in this state indefinitely.
- Constant surveillance is required. Do not abandon the young.
- Remove all opportunities for self-harm.
The School’s Role in Suicide Prevention
The majority of a child’s day is spent at school, where they are supervised by school personnel. Suicide prevention programs are most effective when combined with supporting mental health services, involving the whole school community, and embedded in a good school atmosphere. As a result, it is critical for all school personnel to be aware of the warning signs regarding suicide conduct and to be on the watch for those.
The whole school staff should work together to establish a culture in which pupils feel comfortable sharing such information. When a kid is recognized to be on the verge of suicide, school counselors and administration should intervene at that moment. These professionals evaluate the risk of suicide, warn parents, make suggestions and refer to community resources, and often give follow-up assistance at school.