The idea that a teenager -- whose world should be full of hope and possibility -- could take his or her own life is a staggering one. Still, for many families of teenagers, this form of premature death has become a reality.
In 2007, the most recent year for which data is available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported suicide was the third leading cause of death for American young people ages 10 to 24, resulting in about 4,500 lives lost each year. The same agency also reported an estimated 11 non-fatal suicide attempts for each successful one. In fact, each year nearly 150,000 people between age 15 and 24 are treated in emergency rooms for self-inflicted injuries.
Perhaps just as alarming is a CDC survey of high school students. Turns out, a staggering 15 percent have seriously considered suicide within the previous 12 months.
Although teen suicide is a hard thing to think about, it's crucial we break though the myths surrounding it. There's simply no better way to prevent it.