Rising teen suicide rates creates need for greater awareness

There’s a deadly trend nationwide – more teens are committing suicide. Experts are blaming social media. WNYT reports health officials are noticing swelling suicide rates among teens in the capital region, and here in the Finger Lakes region, data shows similar trends.

You might remember four Penfield High School students committed suicide over the course of 18 months, the most recent happened back in May. The latest Monroe County Youth Behavior Risk Assessment also shows alarming numbers. Over the last 10 years, more teens have reported feeling sad and hopeless. Data from the report also shows more teens have also seriously considered suicide. Those same teens also report spending more than five hours a day on their phones or tablets.

In Ontario County, the latest numbers show 137 people died by suicide over the past decade.
Twenty six-year-old Emmy Farstad once tried to kill herself when she was a teen. She said social media wasn’t as popular then. Had it been, Farstad says her problems would have been much worse.

“Peers were very cruel and they made up rumors that I was pregnant, that I had died, that I had cancer – spreading these rumors,” Farstad said. “Once, I was hospitalized. I told a couple close friends and that spread like wildfire.”

Read more from WHEC.com

Also on FingerLakes1.com