Suicide is the third leading cause of death in teens and young adults

Experts say many factors play a part in teen and young adult suicide.

More than 4,600 15 to 24-year-olds commit suicide every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is also the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14.

"I joke around all the time and say this test is going to be killer. If I fail, I'm going to kill myself but I don't think anyone's taken it seriously before though," said Hershey, a high school student.

But the question is, when do comments like this one become serious red flags?

Amarillo Independent School District Director of Counseling, Tracey Morman said there are often time warning signs to watch out for. They can include drastic changes in personality, isolation, or poor performance in school. Morman also said there might not be any warning signs.

For a teen and young adult, many factors could play a part in suicidal thoughts or attempts.

"Feelings of worthlessness, in addition to trauma, depression, growing up on a family that has domestic violence. experiencing physical, sexual abuseâ?¦lot of things teens go through can lead to thoughts of suicide," said Kathy Tortoreo, counselor with Family Support Services.

Counselors and students agree bullying can play a large factor in suicide for teens.

"It was definitely a lot worse freshman yearâ?¦ We were all packed together, we couldn't separateâ?¦ As the years kind of went on we all kind of went in our own friend groups," said Dylan, a high school student.

Morman said the counselors in all the school work to maintain communication with students and step in when they see warning signs.

She also said teachers go through suicide prevention training at the beginning of the school year. They also partner with agencies to help students.


Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Hope and Healing Place: 806-371-8998

Family Support Services: 806-342-2400