Suicide rate among youths skyrocketing

“It’s not as simple as pointing it to one or two things,” Mayo Clinic Child Psychologist Sarah Trane said.

Even though Trane is a trained child psychologist, she is like all of us when trying to figure out why teenagers commit suicide.

“There’s a lot of different factors that could be involved,” Trane said. “So we don’t know exactly why.”

A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed about 11 per 100,000 people aged 10 through 24 committed suicide from 2007 to 2017.

“It’s very concerning to see adolescents struggling at the rate that they are,” Trane said.

And a different trend is suddenly happening between boys and girls.

Trane says it’s more common for girls to attempt to complete suicide compared to boys.

“We don’t know,” Trane said. “We don’t really understand this well.”

Trane says overall mental health, access to weapons and drugs, among other factors lead to suicide.

She also believes negative social media influence plays a role.

“Just a general search on the Internet and you know it’s a lot easier to find negative things than it is to find positive things,” Trane said.

Local schools are on the front lines of dealing with this problem.

La Crescent-Hokah Public Schools is mourning the loss of an 8th grader from suicide recently.

Superintendent Kevin Cardille says the district has been spending up to 8,000 dollars a year on speakers and training staff on suicide prevention.

“We’re probably gonna up that probably by another $10,000 in getting more training,” Cardille said. “There are a lot of people for staff and students to take some time out and to talk.”

Locally and nationally, it’s a team effort.

“I’m hopeful that in our community we’ll continue to do the best we can to make a difference with our adolescents who are at risk.”

And Trane wants you to know that communication is always key.

“It’s okay to ask the teenager how they’re doing,” Trane said. “It’s okay to ask them what they might need. And then to listen to what they need and to help support them.”

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