Teen Suicide Statistics

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A study released Sunday by the substance abuse and mental health services administration shows close to three million 12 to 17-year-olds considered suicide in 2000, and more than a third of those tried to kill themselves.

Even more shocking, only one in three of them received counseling.

Sarah Kline says those who need help don't get it because suicide isn't easy to talk about.

"I think a lot of people are afraid that if they ask if someone's suicidal, they might say yes, then what do you do? Or they're scared they might put it in their head. Asking them will not put the idea of suicide in their head," Sarah Kline, The Listening Ear.

Research shows the most effective way to prevent a suicide is through early identification of those at risk. And while drug use is high among troubled teens, it's not the only warning sign of suicide.

"Depression or just general hopelessness. A change in sleeping or eating patterns. If they lose interest in things that were important to them ... If someone liked sports and then suddenly didn't want to do anything, these are things that a parent can look out for," Jason Hudson, Gateway Community Services.

Successful intervention can also come from peers. If teens hear someone talk about suicide, they can be the link to a professional who can offer some help.

"Help them make that first phone call or go with them to their first appointment. People who are suicidal are alone a lot as it is, and so it helps to have support with them," said Kline.

It's that little bit of support that can possibly save a life.