NORTH CAROLINA -- It's not an easy subject to talk about, but it's one that can't be ignored.

Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among teenagers, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"It's tough growing up as an adolescent these days," Kelly Graves, a Clinical Psychologist in Greensboro, said. "There's a lot of different competing stressors from schooling to social media."

A new report recommends every family doctor screen teenagers for depression.

"It takes just a few minutes and it's an opportunity to catch kids that are feeling depressed which typically is the precursor to suicide," Graves explained

Graves said it's also important for parents to be on the lookout for depressive tendencies.

"Teens will say, in a lot of different ways, that they're feeling depressed," Graves said. "Some will come out and say you know, I just don't feel like living. Others will show it in their behaviors such as acting out or not wanting to be around anybody."

According to Graves, the best way to prevent suicide is by getting help from a mental health professional. Here in the Triad area, there is free help for both individuals struggling with suicide and their family members.

  • Mental Health Association in Greensboro - 336-373-1402
  • The Kellin Foundation in Greensboro - 336-429-5600
  • Sandhills Center - 910-673-9111 or CRISIS LINE – 1-800-256-2452
  • Therapeutic Alternatives (Mobile Crisis Unit) - 336-495-2700 or MOBILE CRISIS MANAGEMENT – 1-877-626-1772
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7) - 1-800-273-8255

The original report was published in 2007. Suicide was the third-leading cause of death among teenagers at that time but has now surpassed homicide to become the second. Unintentional injuries, such as car accidents, remain the leading cause death among adolescents.

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