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'This is what a survivor looks like.' Local mother speaks out about suicide

A recent study shows teens are increasingly depressed and more likely to consider suicide. Researchers say "screen time" might be to blame.

Posted: Mar. 13, 2019 1:06 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- A recent study shows teens are increasingly depressed and more likely to consider suicide. Researchers say "screen time" might be to blame.

Experts say teens who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent are more likely to show risk factors of suicide. 

The Indiana Department of Health says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, overall. But, it's the 2nd leading cause for people ages 15 and 34.

Leah Piper's daughter committed suicide in 2015.

"She was just this person that I thought loved life," Piper said. "She showed it."

Piper's daughter took her own life. She had just turned 17-years-old. 

"You don't know what's going on behind someone's eyes, you don't," Piper said. 

She says the signs weren't there. Until she was able to read between the lines of her daughter's work.

"She was good at showing me what I wanted to see and everything was just smooth sailing. But, she has this side to her that came out in her writing and her art," Piper added. "I never saw this issue of each time something bad would happen in her life, whether it be a breakup or a disappointment or a low grade, that that was just chiseling away at her ability to handle situations."

It's a desperate call for help.

"This is what a survivor looks like," Piper said as she pointed to her face. "It's not easy."

Piper has some words that she would say if she saw her daughter one last time.

"I love you," she said.

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