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Good To Know: Trying To Understand Youth Suicides

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — TV news usually won’t dwell on the reporting of suicides. But the loss of two Minnesota ninth graders in these woods is among the exceptions, because their deaths seem so unusual to us. In Good To Know, Don says kids killing themselves are an all too common story these days.

The World Health Organization says two million children will attempt to take their own life, every year, in the United States.

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, suicide is the fourth leading killer of children 10 to 14, and the third leading cause of death in adolescents 15 to 19.

Mental health experts say that underlying most of these suicides is depression or another untreated mental issue. We do not suggest it was the case in Lakeland. We simply don’t know all the facts, yet.

But, people who work in the field tell us there are signs: sadness, withdrawal, expressions of hopelessness, depression.

Parents are apt to tell their teenagers to just snap out of it, to tell them it is just a phase, it will get better. For two million kids a year, they won’t live long enough to find out that might be true.

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