Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Teen Depression and Suicide Prevention

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DAVENPORT, IA – Recent tragedies in the community leave many concerned about the rise in teen suicide.

Joyce Morrison, Director of Program Development at Vera French Community Mental Health Center, says the numbers of adolescent suicide is a big concern. "In all my 30 years, we have never had the level of suicide that we have seen over the past couple of years in our community. We have seen a rapid increase in the past five years in adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders."

A mother of two, Kassandra McKown, says she had two classmates commit suicide when she was in high school. "There needs to be more knowledge. We need to educate the kids more about what to look out for in each other, as well as what parents should be looking for."

McKown says it saddens her that children are still going through the same tragedies.

There are signs and symptoms to watch for.  Morrison says isolation, lack of involvement, or disinterest in long-time hobbies are often first signs. If a child locks him or herself in the bedroom, does not talk as much as normal, or is not joining in family activities – these are all tips.

Morrison also says that a depressed or anxious children may have a "sad affect on their face", meaning they don't look happy. "If you're worried about your kid, keep asking and monitoring them to make sure they are okay. In the long run, they'll get over being mad at you, and they will be safe. "

McKown agrees, "You really need to have that open line of communication between your kids. You need to have somebody that the kids are comfortable talking to."

Whether you are a parent or a friend, Morrison says to raise your voice if you see a concern. "If they're at school, they can go to a school counselor, principal, nurse, or teacher. If they have a friend in harm, they can talk to their own parents who can contact the parents of their friend. They really need to seek adult assistance to get help for that person."

Identifying the problem and seeking help is the first step to suicide prevention. Morrison says, "We need to do more as a community to help and prevent. To reach out and get the message to kids that there is help. There is another day. That taking their own life does not have to be a choice for them."

If your child has expressed desire to inflict self-harm or commit suicide, Morrison emphasizes the importance of taking them to the emergency room immediately.

Here are some local resources if you or someone you know has signs of depression or anxiety:

Vera French Community Mental Health Center
1441 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport, IA

Rick's House of Hope
5022 Northwest Blvd., Davenport, IA

Genesis Psychology Associates
4455 E. 56th St., Davenport, IA

Bethany for Children & Families
Multiple Locations

Family Resources Inc.
2800 Eastern Ave., Davenport, IA

Local Quad City Hospitals


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Fax: 563.383.7131
Email: news@kwqc.com

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