Bixby High School News & TV

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`People Need to Pay More Attention’

Depression, often not talked about because of its implications, is common with teens.

Ari, Johnson

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Every year the rate of suicide rises and Oklahoma is no exception.

Teen suicide in Oklahoma is the second-leading cause of death between the ages of 15 and 24. According to the Population Reference Bureau, suicide among teenagers has risen from eight deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 8.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2014.

In the event of a student committing suicide, schools around the state have created a procedure to help those in mourning. Counselors work with Tristesse Grief Center, a nonprofit organization, to help friends and relatives of suicide victims through the difficult time.

Stephanie Butler, a counselor at Bixby High School, empathizes about why teens kill themselves.

“I feel like they haven’t lived long enough to know that things can change,” she says.

Butler says friends and loved ones should watch out for signs of fatigue and dramatic changes. When teens begin to not care, they let their grades slip and they stop acting normally, those are signs of possible depression that could become fatal.

However, the opposite could be true. If a student isn’t usually talkative, then suddenly becomes happy or asks others about dreams and goals, it could mean the teen has made a date of death.  

At Bixby High School, one student, who asked that her name not be used, spoke up about teen suicide and depression.

“People need to pay more attention,” she says. “It should be a bigger issue.”

At age 14, she was diagnosed with depression. However, her mind had been working against her years before anyone found out. Many people like her feel isolated and hopeless. It took time before this student realized there were those could help. Her family didn’t explode on her; instead they talked. They found out what was going on and did everything to help her.

“Sometimes you need to pressure the person to talk,” the girl says.

When people are deeply caught up in their emotions, it’s hard for them to escape. They need support, people willing to open gateways in non-judgmental ways. All it takes is for one child, one friend, even one stranger to care.

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Bixby High School News & TV
`People Need to Pay More Attention’