ATLANTA — Nearly two dozen children have committed suicide in Georgia just this year. Now, some Georgia agencies are joining forces to try and keep that number from growing.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation director Vernon Keenan stood front and center with representatives from health and children's services agencies to talk about something that many people don’t want to talk about: youth suicide.
“The second-leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 15 and 17 is suicide,” Keenan said. “Thus far this year, we’ve had 23 children who have committed suicide.”
That’s why Keenan and others unveiled a new public service announcement aimed at parents and other adults to help them spot the signs of potential suicide, so they can begin interventions to prevent it.
“Specific mental health diagnosis that in and of itself might not be the tipping point but -- bipolar disorder, schizophrenia. We’re talking about risk factors of social isolation,” said Walker Tisdale, with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health.
This isn’t the GBI’s first try to fight this growing problem.
In February, it introduced another announcement aimed at teenagers themselves, featuring teens who attempted suicide and failed.
Teressa Stann’s brother took his own life six years ago. She told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot that he did a good job hiding his illness and she hopes the new public service announcement will help others see the signs.
“Suicide is not just one man standing. It’s not the one that had lost their life. It’s all those who are left behind as well,” Stann said.
Watch the PSA below:
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