More teen suicides


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  • Natalie Maynor
Three more teenagers have killed themselves since we wrote about two teen suicides last month.

In those two cases, a 14-year-old girl hanged herself on May 16 after becoming despondent over the suicide death of her friend, also 14, on May 2. "Discovered on top of a dresser inside the closet next to the decedent is a newspaper clipping of the memorial services of her friend who recently hanged himself in a suicide," says the El Paso County Coroner's Office's autopsy report about the girl's death.

Her friend, a boy, had made "multiple online suicide-type statements," the coroner's autopsy report states, before hanging himself.

Now, three more young people have cut their lives short: a 14-year-old boy on May 20 and a 15-year-old boy on June 1. Both shot themselves in the head. The third youth's autopsy report is pending.

It bears repeating a list of resources and signals for those who are contemplating suicide or suspect someone they know is, as previously published in the Independent on May 27: 
If you believe someone you know is considering suicide, help is available at Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention (573-7447); AspenPointe (572-6100); AspenPointe Crisis Center (635-7000); or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800/273-8255). Children who want to anonymously report a suicidal friend or classmate can call Safe2Tell (877/542-7233). Monika Hannan, a Colorado Springs School District 11 school psychologist, lists these as common warning signs:

• Threats of suicide

• Previous attempts

• Depression

• Masked depression/Risk-taking behavior

• Final arrangements

• Efforts to hurt oneself

• Suicide notes (these are a very real sign of danger and should be taken seriously)

• Inability to concentrate or think rationally

• Changes in physical habits and appearance

• Sudden changes in personality, friends, behaviors

• Death and suicidal themes in music and art for example

• Having a plan/method/access

• Increased substance (alcohol or drug) use

• No reason for living; no sense of purpose in life

• Anxiety, agitation, unable to sleep or sleeping all of the time

• Feeling trapped

• Hopelessness

• Withdrawal from friends, family and society

• Rage, uncontrolled anger, seeking revenge

• Acting reckless or engaging in risky activities, seemingly without thinking

• Dramatic mood changes

• Unexpected happiness


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