Making jokes about suicide unacceptable

Contributes to prevalence of teen suicides

Michaela Regier

More stories from Michaela Regier

When a teacher assigns 100 chapters of reading the almost automatic response is “I’d rather drink bleach”. When the schedule shows 7-11 on a Saturday morning, periodical moans and grunts are typically followed by a rage filled “KILL ME NOW”. When a friend jokingly picks up a horrendous pair of sparkly leopard print jeans, an exasperated “kill yourself” is soon to follow. A mom asks her child to do the dishes but all the child hears is “join me in the fiery depths of hell.” When these types of things are expressed, choirs of young adults ring in with an overbounding “relatable” or “same”. These comments are normal and accepted by society, but they should not be.

According to the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people. Nearly 14% of high school students have considered suicide and for every 100 suicide attempts, one young person is successful, according to With the population of our school being 1,030, that means roughly 144.2 people in the school have had suicidal thoughts.

How often do you hear or make jokes about suicide in your day-to-day routine?

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That means 144 people are most likely, not joking, but no one can tell. Society has once again turned an already hard situation into an insanely difficult one. On a given day, 14 death jokes were made at this very school, either toward someone or to oneself. It is so common to hear a joke about death and depression that they have lost their shock value. Now, if someone says something about rather being dead, they may mean it and no one will believe them. A couple months later, people are surprised a person made a suicide attempt, when really, the signs were there.

Society goes blind to mental illnesses by making a joke out of it, so instead, think before speaking. Though a joke may be funny or a meme might deserve a favorite, remember those who are actually struggling. Another week of high school will not bring “cancer” but if everyone keeps poking fun at mental illnesses, it may in fact bring death.