Health

To Combat Teen Suicide, Georgia Officials Turn To Social Media

From 2015 to 2017, 144 kids and teens in Georgia committed suicide.
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Georgia officials are turning to social media to try to combat teen suicide.

From 2015 to 2017, 144 kids and teens in Georgia committed suicide. This year, four children in the state have already committed suicide. The GBI is looking into a possible fifth case.

Now, it’s released videos on YouTube to try to reach young people with the message, help is out there.

Trebor Randle, a special agent with the GBI’s Child Fatality Review, said prevention is the major key to reducing the suicide rate among kids and teens.

“Our kids are in crisis and they need to know that we hear them, we’re listening,” Randle said. “More importantly, the parents and educators need to understand the signs of a child who may be in crisis.”

Randle said some of those signs are kids withdrawing from family and social events. She said changes in behavior or appearance can also be warning signs.

The videos will be released on social media soon. Randle said they also want to get educators and school counselors involved.

“We always have to use our free services,” Randle said. “Social media, Twitter, and Facebook. It is very difficult to get, for example, a movie theater to run these ads because it costs money. We don’t have enough funding.”

Randle said the GBI’s working with Gov. Nathan Deal to try to get money to expand the reach of the campaign.

*If you or anyone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts,  call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225*