VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- Teen suicide rates have reached their highest point in nearly two decades according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study shows those among the ages of 15 to 24 are steadily dying by suicide.
Teens taking their own life is an issue that not only impacts those in the Wabash Valley but also individuals worldwide.
There are several factors that could play into the rise of this increase and some professionals say social media plays a role.
The platform allows the opportunity for cyberbullying and other behaviors that take place behind the screen.
A few hurtful words could be what sets off someone who is struggling.
Suicide isn't something that's easy to talk about in fact, many people feel avoid the subject altogether. Unfortunately, with teens at such a high risk, it's important to take the time to have the conversation.
News 10 spoke with Missy Burton on the tough subject. She is the clinical supervisor for Child and Adolescent Services at the Hamilton Center.
Burton tells us that if we took the time to have the conversation when we noticed triggering signs, it could be a matter of life or death for someone.
"There is a serious increase right now. Folks are struggling with the idea of taking their own life. So to recognize the signs of someone who is struggling could help save a life, to have a hard conversation could help save a life. So those things are very important that we are able to reach out and do those things," Burton said.
Often times, we are unsure when there is a call for help. How can we determine when someone is asking for help?
"I hear people say or even post things on social media about how hard their life is or how bad their life is. Or sometimes they say how 'they wish they were never born,' 'I wish I had died,' vague references sometimes, 'I don't want to be here anymore, I just can't take this pressure anymore.' Some of those kinds of things are what you should keep an eye out for on social media," Burton said.
If you notice any of this language on social media, it's important to reach out for help. The conversation is not always the easiest, but it's important. Ask someone if they are feeling okay or if they need anything.
If you feel the situation is much more serious, seek professional help immediately.
There are resources available in the Wabash Valley. The Hamilton Center is always a source of support. For more information on those resources provided, click here.
There is also a suicide prevention lifeline that is made available 24/7 to those in need.