Suicide Prevention Warning Signs - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Suicide Prevention: Warning Signs

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Last week as hundreds gathered to honor the life of  Jacob Rogers, they also were sending a message about his death.

"Jacob's death was not in vain," one speaker said.

"Maybe it can be a lesson to all of us," a student added.

Earlier this month the 18-year old took his own life. Friends said he was bullied by classmates for being gay. It's shedding light on a problem, according to the Tennessee Suicide Network, that's the third leading cause of death of youth in the state.

"It's a responsibility for everyone who encounters children and youth to learn the warning signs and how to connect a child you're worried about with help," Stephanie Barger with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network said.

Those warning signs include: a student giving away their belongings, they become less interested in things that were previously important to them, or the begin to isolate themselves.

"A break up, a bad grade, poor social interaction before school you or I might say… it's a bad day and for them it might feel life shattering or altering," Barger added.

Most importantly if they talk about suicide or even allude to it immediate action must be taken.

"Not everyone gives away their favorite letter jacket, but many, many people who complete suicide tell someone."

We may never know all of the details surroundings Jacob's death. As each light dims in the crowd they vow to make sure Jacob's life is not forgotten.

"Hopefully bullying is going to stop and we won't have this tragedy again," one of Jacob's classmates said

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- TALK (1-800-273-8255). Counselors are standing-by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can also provide callers with resources in their community.

While each school district has a bullying policy, the Suicide Prevention Network recommends they include specific statements about bullying regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.

Email: acline-thomas@newschannel5.com

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