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Letter: Watch for the warning signs

September is Suicide Awareness Month. Since 2019, there has been a steady increase in the number of youth suicides. This is the time to review some of the risk factors and warning signs, not only for our youth, but for us all.

They include: signs of depression, hopelessness/helplessness; extreme changes in behavior; decreased interest in typically enjoyed activities; a suicidal threat or statement, and a previous suicide attempt.

Young children who have depression may have physical complaints, be agitated, or hear imaginary voices. Adolescents may have school difficulties, may withdraw from social activities, changes in behavior, or may use alcohol or other drugs. They may become restless, grouchy, aggressive, or sulky. They may display a lack of attention to their personal appearance.

A significant risk factor is social media. Increased time on phones and devices can lead to lack of sleep, increased anxiety and depression, and feeling isolated. Since 2019, screen usage has i...

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