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Expert says more teens are attempting suicide

The Health Collaborative says suicide attempts among teens have increased in recent years.

SAN ANTONIO -- It's been a little over a year since Kara Yocom's 14-year-old son Isaac, took his own life.

Yocom says Isaac was bullied for many years, but never showed signs of being depressed.

“There's hidden depression,” Yocom said. “They put a front on for you and I'm thinking that's what my son did because he was always happy. I think he put a front up for us.”

Isaac was a bright boy who loved science.

He was kind and compassionate.

“Had he truly understood the consequences of what he was doing he would not have done this,” said family friend Kimberly Villarreal.

Yocom says Isaac never spoke about suicide, and to this day, they still don’t know exactly what made him do it.

“So many times the youth are fixed on this one year, this one incident, this one time, and their life isn't just one time. It's eternal," said Elizabeth Lutz.

Lutz is the executive director of the Health Collaborative, which studies the health of Bexar County.

She says teen suicide attempts have increased in recent years.

“They (teens) are under a lot of different types of pressures,” she said.

Lutz says social media, websites, movies, and television can glamorize suicide and in some cases even help give young people the tools they need to go through with it.

“There are tutorials literally on YouTube about how to do some of these things,” she said. “Why is this ok in our society?”

Lutz says one solution might be for the media to instead focus on how families can get help.

“We should have a normal culture that says I need help and how can I get help immediately? Those things are so much less accessible it's crazy,” Lutz said.

So what are some ways families can get help?

The 24-hour national suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

And you can also find more resources by going to the Health Collaborative’ s website and by going here.

Isaac's family has created an organization devoted to suicide prevention. You can learn more about that, by going here.

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