NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - With suicide being the second leading cause of deaths for youths across the United States, knowing that there is help available is key.

“The conversation about suicide is more important than ever,” said Glen Gaugh, West Regional Supervisor for Youth Villages. “Coming into 2021, calls overall and calls regarding suicides have increased.”

Youth Villages services a majority of the state when it comes to emergency psychiatric crisis assessments. The agency reminds the best way to address suicide is openly.

“If an adult or a young person seems to have given up hope, it’s a good time to establish connection, knowing how disconnected we are currently and how easy it is to feel isolated whether that’s true or not,” said Gaugh. “An individual can feel isolated in a crowded room.”

For kids and teens, being back in school has led to academic stress and feeling behind.

“It should be a situation where if our kids see something related to their friends or peers, then they should be able to say something,” said Gaugh.

Warning signs include changes in behavior, irritability, non-compliance or expressions of anger.

Gaugh said hopelessness is big right now and should not be ignored.

“Suicide is completely preventable if we’ll make it ours, take the responsibility on ourselves to save a life,” said Gaugh.

In 2021, Tennessee has had at least 1,219 suicides reported.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help available through the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

 

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