Troubling Teen Suicide Trends in the Northwest

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by SHANIQUA MANNING / NWCN

NWCN.com

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Updated Friday, May 20 at 10:59 AM

   This week, two Washington State teenagers will likely take their own lives.  Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens in Washington according to the State Department of Health .  In fact, it’s a pressing issue all across the Northwest.  Alaska leads the country in the number of suicides among young people ages 15 to 24.  Idaho has the second highest rate.  Washington comes in 17th and Oregon 18th.  The rankings, put together by the American Association of Suicidology, paint a startling picture.

   Hope Davenport knows that picture all too well.  Three years ago, the high school student went to class thinking it would be her last time.  After years of bullying and depression she had decided to take her own life.  "I had a bottle of pills and a rope in my room waiting for me when i got home," she says.  Hope felt left out after transferring from a different school.  She never told her parents about her struggle, instead turning to her diary. But on the very day she was ready to commit suicide her school held a Rachel's Challenge assembly.


   It's a presentation that tells the story of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shootings.  Rachel had her own journal that was pierced by a bullet from that day.  In it Rachel talked about spreading kindness and compassion and her idea that one good deed will lead to another.  The idea saved Hope Davenport's life.  

  She has since graduated from high school and attended the University of North Texas.  She recently got married and is expecting a son.  Her story is a testament to others considering suicide that there is still Hope.  

   If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide get help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.


  And for more information about Rachel’s Challenge and how your school can get involved check out this special section on our website.
 

Tune in to Northwest Families Wednesday mornings during the 10 a.m show and Thursday mornings during the 8 a.m. show on NWCN. You can also check us out on Facebook .

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