Oklahoma Teen Suicides Mount

Wednesday, February 1st 2012, 11:44 pm
By: News 9

Parents, teachers and classmates are becoming increasingly worried after four teen suicides in less than two weeks; three boys in Edmond and one in Hinton.

Local experts warned this could be a trend in Oklahoma's schools. They urged parents and teachers to look for warning signs including withdrawal, giving away prized possessions, and drastic changes in normal behavior.

1/30/2012 Related Story: Edmond Community Bands Together After Spike In Teen Suicides

Eighty percent of people told someone before taking their life. Lisa Harper with Heartline said there is a concern of a phenomenon called contagion, when teens glamorize suicide.

"They look at all the people that are coming around them showing love. They look how they have left a mark or an impact and that may give them the courage to go ahead and (end their life). That's not going to be someone that wasn't already thinking of it," Harper said.

She said suicide is the second-highest cause of death in teens in Oklahoma.

Activists are lobbying Oklahoma's legislature to get laws changed which would mandate training for teachers. Attempts haven't been successful.

Next Monday, February 13, Edmond Public Schools is hosting a meeting for parents, guardians and community members about suicide and prevention. It's at 7 p.m. at Edmond Memorial High School.