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Teen suicides on the rise, mental health crisis in our schools, experts say |

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Teen suicides on the rise, mental health crisis in our schools, experts say

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Another reminder tonight of a hard truth -- many teens have struggled during this pandemic.

Tonight, a mental health expert says we need to remember to keep a close eye on our kids' well-being.

Some say it's the price of the pandemic. The CDC reports a 48% increase over the past year of emergency room visits for teens who have attempted suicide. And unfortunately, some do, sadly, die by suicide.

The principal of Centennial Hills High School sent a letter home to parents Tuesday, indicating a 16-year-old student at the school died.

Dr. Sheldon Jacobs, licensed marriage and family therapist said, "I think whenever someone takes their life it's just very difficult."

It will be a hard road for students at Centennial High School.

"When I heard that, I was heartbroken of course. My heart goes out to the family and the peers of that student," Jacobs added.

Unfortunately, it's not an isolated incident.

"Emergency rooms for suicide attempts in boys only rose 3.7%, it jumped 51% for girls," Lisa Durette, a child, and adolescent psychiatrist and assistant professor at the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV said.

"We just have to be alert and aware right now that our kids have been struggling for a couple of years," Durrette adds.

Durrette says one of the main culprits is social media.

Parents should be aware of the social media accounts kids are following. And watch for signs they may be in trouble.

Durrette says they start to sell their possessions give away their possessions. If you see a child who is starting to hurt themselves on purpose who's having withdrawal from friends and peers.

Dr. Sheldon Jacobs reminds parents to have open conversations with their kids.

"Be in tune with your kids make sure you are listening to them," Sheldon adds.

We've been working on an entire series of how to help your children -- just click on the "Cyber Safe Parents" tab of our website.

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