Next week is National Suicide Prevention Week.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among kids 15-24 in Arizona, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
“Many times we’re hearing parents say that they didn’t see the signs or clues or they though that it was just normal teenage stuff, or depression,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. “Look for the clues of significant change in behavior. Of withdrawal or seclusion.”
Also when teens start to talk in terms of they don’t want to go on, he said.
“Those should send alarm bells off to anybody, not just family,” Babeu said. “To friends and to teachers. Everyone to immediately get behavioral health support for that teenager.”
They’re not alone, he said. Help is just one phone call away.
“Often times they want to talk to another teen, who may have struggled with hurting themselves or wanting to kill themselves,” Babeu said.
Teen Lifeline has a confidential 24/7 hotline where teens can be connected to a trained teen “peer counselor or call 602-248-8336 (TEEN) / (800)-248-8336 (TEEN).