SEATTLE -- The teen suicide rate in the U.S. continues to rise. According to the latest number from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2006 to 2016 the rate jumped 70 percent among white kids ages 10 to 17 and up 77 percent among black kids in the same age group.
Jennifer Barron works for Forefront Suicide Prevention, an organization at the University of Washington that focuses helping those struggling with thoughts of suicide. Barron has been working in the field for years and tells Q13 News that teen suicides were not always as common as they are today.
“A long time ago we didn`t talk about suicide at all," said Barron. "When we lost youth our young kids to suicide, we would label we would consider it an accident we wouldn't consider that kids that young could be in so much pain.”
That is no longer the case. According to statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average every week two kids die by suicide in the state of Washington. Suicide is also the number one cause of death among those ages 10 to 14.
While the reasons someone takes their own life are complicated, Barron says social media is likely playing a factor for some.
“Kids spend a lot of time on social media, and there`s that fear that they are going to miss out or that they are not portrayed good on social media, and that can cause a lot of anxiety and stress,” said Barron.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the thought of suicide, there is help. You can all the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 1 (800) 273-8255. If you prefer to text you can text CONNECT the Crisis Text Line to 741741.