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Local teen suicides spike in October

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Dr. Leon Kelly - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Dr. Leon Kelly

El Paso County's youth suicide trend appears to be slowing, but a spike this month has worrying echoes of 2015 and 2016's fall semesters.

The average number of youth suicides over the past three years is 14. This year, there have been five suicides in the 10-24 age group so far, says Dr. Leon Kelly, the deputy chief medical examiner. But three of those deaths occurred just in October.

In 2015 and 2016, Kelly says, the county saw an increase in suicides in the early part of the spring semester and closer to the end of the fall semester.

"That's discouraging," Kelly says of this season's deaths, "but we'll see." He points out that last year, the county had one youth suicide in October but finished the semester without any more.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can contact the 24/7 Colorado Crisis and Support Line by calling 844/493-8255, texting “TALK” to 38255, or visiting www.coloradocrisisservices.org.

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