New study of teen suicides shows alarming numbers - WSMV News 4

New study of teen suicides shows alarming numbers

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(Source: NBC News) (Source: NBC News)

A doctor with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says an average of 16 young Americans take their own lives every day.

A brand new study of teen suicides shows alarming numbers, especially for girls.

Here in Tennessee, suicide is the second and third leading cause of death in young people from 10 to 24 years old.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says girls, especially between the ages of 15 and 19, are not getting the help they need.

The rate of suicide in that group has doubled in eight years from 260 to 524. For boys, the rate jumped 31 percent.

More teenage girls killed themselves in 2015 than any other year in the last four decades.

Experts say there is no single cause but point to the overwhelming prevalence of social media and cyber bullying as factors.

Girls can also face some particular issues, such as early puberty.

A recent depiction of teenage suicide on television has coincided with an increase of internet searches about suicide.

Dr. Christine Moutier says the first thing parents can do is to become knowledgeable about mental health and how to talk to their teenagers.

"Any hints of extremely pain, overwhelming pain, trapped, hopelessness or being a burden -- any of that kind of talk are very important to pay attention to," Moutier said.

Below are some tips for parents:

  • Watch out for changes in your child's behavior, including sleep patterns, eating patterns, the way they talk about certain topics
  • Have specific conversations about how your child is feeling
  • Don't lecture
  • Check in often
  • Trust your instincts
  • Seek help as soon as you see signs of depression

The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK.

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