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Suicide Prevention Month: Know the warning signs

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:45 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - September is National Suicide Prevention Month a time to focus on prevent and to help those who may be in crises.

Action News 5′s Andrew Douglas spoke with Michael Stempkovski, Clinical Services Director at Youth Villages, about the warning signs parents and why it is important to talk to your kids about suicide.

“To break stigma about suicide, let’s have those conversations and withhold judgement,” Stempkovski said. “We do know suicide is preventable. That we can take action.”

Since 2015, he said Tennessee has seen an 11% increase in suicides across the state, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

“It’s actually higher than the national rate of suicide in the United States,” Stempkovski said.

It is also the second leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24 years old.

“It’s a really vulnerable group,” Stempkivski said. “I personally hypothesis that social media is a contributing factor to that.”

If you need help, there are support services for teens.

· TN Crisis Hotline (855-CRISIS-1) or 1-855-274-7471

· TN Crisis Text Line (Text TN to 741-741)

· Youth Villages Specialized Crisis Hotline/West Tennessee (1-866-791-9226)

You can watch the full interview in the video player above.

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