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Part Six: Teens Struggling with Suicide

Part Six: Teens Struggling with Suicide

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Maria Shilaos, KSL Newsradio Suicide is the third leading cause of death in kids between 10 and 19 years of age. In fact, more kids die of suicide each year than all the natural causes combined.

Melissa, 17-year-old: "It was kind of like there was no way out. The only way to go was to commit suicide."

Melissa is a 17-year-old who has tried to kill herself several times.

Melissa, 17-year-old: "At least four times and the last time being the worst. I think the others were just cries for help."

Bruce Poulsen is a child psychologist at Primary Children's Medical Center. He says suicide is a public health problem.

Bruce Poulsen, Child Psychologist, Primary Children's Medical Center: "Every suicide that happens touches the lives of every child in that school. People are touched so much when that happens, and it has a triggering effect for other people."

Melissa started struggling with depression in junior high. Not only didn't she have many friends, she didn't like the way she looked.

Melissa, 17-year-old: "I want to appear like I'm perfect. I guess a lot of people struggle with depression, but I guess I thought depression was a stupid weakness."

Poulsen says "There are a lot of high expectations to do well in school and do all the things you need to do at home and just lots of responsibility in the sense that you have to measure up, and that creates stress."

Melissa has recently completed inpatient treatment at Wasatch Canyons, which is a division of Primary Children's Medical Center. And she says she's doing a lot better.

Melissa, 17-year-old: "I'm more comfortable with talking with people and myself. I think part of it was getting the right medication, too, though."

Melissa says she struggles with suicidal thoughts but hopes other teens can learn from her mistakes.

Melissa, 17-year-old: "I would say just put yourself out there. People are there. Talk to your friends. As much as you don't want to talk to your parents, I'm able to talk to my mom a lot more than we used to. Don't think you can do it all on your own, because you can't. You need help, and don't give up."

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