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GA: Youth suicide on the rise; 'We've had children 6 yrs old commit suicide.'

July 18, 2018, Atlanta Journal Constitution: With youth suicide on the rise, outreach targets parents The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is rolling out a new public service announcement aimed at combating a rise in youth suicides. The video features parents and other family members of young people who either took their own lives or attempted to. “We’ve had children 6 years old commit suicide,” GBI Director Vernon Keenan said in the PSA unveiled Wednesday. “They’re in the GBI morgue to be autopsied. What a tragedy. A grade school child commits suicide?” Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in the nation for people between the ages of 15 and 19, according to the CDC. Since the beginning of 2018, 23 youths under the age of 17 have taken their lives in the state.Within the past five years, there have been 211… The number of suicide attempts might be quadruple that, Keenan said. The GBI estimates that for every death by suicide there are 25 attempts. That’s based on the volume of hospitalizations each year…. Walker Tisdale, Director of Suicide Prevention at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, said focusing on “protective factors” is also an important part of suicide prevention. He urges parents to look for warning signs — such as social isolation — in their children’s behavior that could indicate they are considering some form of self harm…. The Department of Education held a series of summits last years to help educators recognize signs that a student might be under duress. It’ll be hosting four more trainings this year in response to schools that have asked for more training, Benefield said.

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