In Argentina, San Antonio de los Cobres, in Salta, has an adolescent suicide rate that is 10 times higher than the country average / (Getty Images)
According to the World Health Organization, “in the world one person commits suicide every 40 seconds and it is estimated that another tries every two seconds”, a figure that translates into more than 703,000 deaths each year. Meanwhile, according to a UNICEF study, in Argentina the locality with an adolescent suicide rate that is 10 times higher than the country’s average is San Antonio de los Cobres, Salta. It is for this reason that the Fratelli Tutti Political School (EPFT) returns to Argentina with the aim of implementing the project co-created with the youth of the community on this problem.
In March of this year, Alicia Vedia Barruz (Portugal), Eshile Makitshi (South Africa), Shalini Uyaiobong Malaki (United States) and Felipe Paullier Olivera (Uruguay) visited Argentina to carry out a field experience in the province of Salta. As they highlighted, during their stay they identified that the idea of suicide is installed in the narrative of young people. However, none of them felt that there is a “safe” environment to disclose their suicidal thoughts.
“Invisible deaths from youth suicide silently scream the urgent need that current policy has failed to address. That is why youth suicide was one of the peripheral pains that the global community of students at the university decided to address. Escuela Política All Brothers during this year”, they pointed out from the entity.
Since the “WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, more individuals experience loss, suffering and stress,” they admitted from PAHO / FLICKR / JULIEN HALER
In this sense, they highlighted that “juvenile suicide is, to this day, one of the taboo topics in the community. As if not talking about it, not naming it, were the same as not happening, when in fact it constitutes the tip of the iceberg, since multiple problems and pains unfold underneath, such as family problems, situations of violence, sexual abuse, depression, addictions, problems at school, both in relation to low grades and rejection by the group, bullying or bullying.
With this in mind, the EPFT students formed a work team, through which they planned and developed collectively, and together with the youth of Miraflores, a community impact project that seeks to “prevent and address this pain.”
According to PAHO, suicide is the third cause of death among young people between the ages of 20 and 24 in the Americas / (Getty Images)
“After that first trip, they kept in touch with the community to accompany and encourage youth participation in daily actions committed to the problem and the search for and generation of new spaces, such as the Student Centers (which are already in operation) and a self-regulated Participation Space, where they can practice the culture of encounter, express their needs, proposals and have a voice to name and make visible the situations they are going through”, they detailed from the EPFT, since this entity aims to forge a global community of young people coming from different regions and cultures, united in their vocation to transform the world and people’s lives through better politics at the service of the common good.
It is for this reason that, from last Friday the 16th and until next September 23rd, the students are in San Antonio de los Cobres to carry out “their second community project implementation experience, where in different instances they will address the problem of suicide not only speaking, but putting the body in the collective planning of accompaniment and prevention strategies”.
PAHO highlighted that “suicides are preventable with timely, evidence-based and often low-cost interventions” / (Getty Images)
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recalled that since the “WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, more individuals experience loss, suffering and stress”, it is for this reason that it assured that “focusing on the Suicide prevention is especially important for building social bonds, promoting awareness and offering hope. Reaching out to loved ones about their mental health and well-being could save their lives.”
In its third regional report on suicide mortality, which was published in March 2021 and can be found on its website, the health organization of the Americas highlighted that “suicides are preventable with timely interventions, based on evidence and often Low cost”. They also highlighted that in the region “an average of 98,000 deaths by suicide per year were reported between 2015 and 2019”, and 79% were men.
“It is the third leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 20 and 24 in the Americas,” the international organization asserted. Given this context and born at a time when the global crisis unleashed by COVID-19 made the different structural crises (economic, political, educational and cultural) even more visible, in addition to the inspiration of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on fraternity and social friendship, Fratelli Tutti emerged. It is a school that “initiated a process of reimagining the world so that it recovers collective hope and allows us to make all things new by co-creating a renewed gaze that ventures to propose new paradigms from the social and existential peripheries of the planet” .
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