Teen Suicide a Serious Concern in Jackson County

, Written by RaeAnn Christensen, Posted: Tue, August 27 2013 at 5:08 PM, Updated: Tue, August 27 2013 at 5:16 PM

It's a disturbing trend.

"Adolescents in general learn to do what they do, mostly by copying each other, " says Dr. Douglas Col, Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology.

And even more disturbing in Jackson County.

Suicide here is the second leading cause of death among young people.

"If you're in a community where you've had a suicide or two, your odds go up significantly," says Dr. Col.

In the 10 to 24 age group.

Dr. Col says they are "trying to find themselves really, who are they."

81% of the deaths were young men, 19-percent young women.

"They're loose ends they don't where to go, they don't know who they are," says Dr. Col.

So are young men more at risk?

Dr. Col says "women are generally much more likely to attempt suicide, but men are much more likely to succeed at it because of the methods they choose."

Studies show 70% of those who commit suicide suffer from depression just like Christopher Barrett.

"It's harder to know what's going on with a guy. They don't do the internal emotion thing as much, I know that is a stereo type but it seems to hold," Dr. Col says.

While others like Johnathan Croom, are experiencing some kind of stress like a break up and feel like they don't have the desire to continue living.

Dr. Col says you need to have a collaborative relationship with teenagers not an authoritarian one.

He says "the main thing is can you actually talk with your kid and hear them and they get it that you're not judging them as much as you're listening to them."

Listening to save lives and reverse a tragic trend.

Some of the main warning signs to watch for in teens is if they have a friend who has committed or attempted suicide.
If they become withdrawn, lash out, or turn to alcohol and drugs.
Dr. Col says the ultimate key to reducing teen suicide is, prevention. 

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About the Author

RaeAnn Christensen

NBC 5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster RaeAnn Christensen earned a Bachelors degree from Weber State University, majoring in Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

RaeAnn started her career as a Producer for two local stations where she grew up in Utah. Working for the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, she won local awards for producing, and also became an Emmy award winning producer.

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